NPA shops for investors to reconstruct Tin Can, Apapa ports - THE GUARDIAN
By Adaku Onyenucheya
The Nigerian Ports Authority (NPA) has said it is shopping for multilateral agencies that would fund the reconstruction of the Tin Can Island and Apapa ports in Lagos.
The Acting Managing Director of NPA, Muhammed Bello-Koko who stated this in Lagos, said the Minister of Transportation, Rotimi Amaechi had directed the agency to look at possibilities towards the reconstruction of the two ports.
The NPA boss stated that the agency is currently considering granting terminal operators the option to rebuild the dilapidated port, while NPA in turn, amortises and extends the tenure of the terminal operators’ leases.
He said both Tin Can and Apapa Ports are not going to be expanded in terms of landmass as this would imply taking over people’s homes, offices, and paying compensations.
Bello-Koko noted that the only way to bring bigger vessels to Lagos ports is by deepening the channel as well as rebuilding the quay walls and building IT infrastructures.
Currently, he said the quay walls have design limitations of 14 meters, which has made it impossible to dredge the channel and quays below 13.5 metres.
He said for bigger vessels of 16.5 or 20 meters that are the modern-day vessels sizes to berth in the ports, the channels must be dredged deeper.
“This means there has to be a financial cost-benefit analysis on the cost implications and then, what is the revenue that is likely to be driven for such decisions to be taken.
“We have in recent times, instructions from the Minister of Transportation, that we look at the possibilities of the reconstruction of the ports and we have been holding stakeholder meetings.
“A committee was set up to explore the best way to do it. Do we reconstruct the ports in Lagos maintaining the same quay walls at the same depth? Or should we deepen it? A consultant has been engaged to look at the whole of the Tin can and Apapa ports and look at where there are the physical deficiencies in terms of the integrity of quay walls and the civil engineering works that need to be done.
“The NPA is currently looking around for multilateral agencies that would fund such projects. We do not have approval for it, but we are only being proactive, trying to look at the funding options. Do you, first of all, get a multilateral agency to fund it on behalf of the Federal Government/NPA and you pay them or do you get the multilateral agencies to fund the terminal operators or do you ask the terminal operators to fund it and then you amortise over time or you extend the tenure of their leases?” The NPA boss stated.