By Godfrey Bivbere
TRANSPORT Minister, Alhaji Yusuf Suleiman,Â has said that the ministry will soon embark on performance audit of activities of concessionaires to determine their efficiency after four years of their operations, even as the minister requested both the terminal operators and the clearing agents to forward position papers to the ministry.
The Minister who disclosed this in AbujaÂ while speaking maritime journalists, said that he had discussed with the Nigerian Ports Authority (NPA) and ministry officials about operational efficiency.
Suleiman who played hosted to Executives of Maritime Reportersâ€™ Association of Nigeria (MARAN), said the audit would enable the Federal Government determine whether the concessionaires had added value to ports operations since they took over the terminal management four years ago.
He explained that government had concessioned about 25 terminals across the country, stressing that it is time to look at what obtainable prior to and after port concession.
According ti him, â€œIt is easy for people in the industry to see whether they (Concessionaires) have been improved operational efficiency at the ports.â€
He also noted that the ministry intends to resolve the conflict and crisis between the freight forwarders and the terminal operators over hike in tariffs.
He pointed out that the concession agreement made room for understanding between the clearing agents and the concessionaires on increase in tariffs and levies. The Minister said the ministry is awaiting the submissions of both parties to sort things out.
â€œWe want a system that is devoid of crisis between the terminal operators and the agents,â€ he said.
He also said the ministry was keen in addressing the controversial issue of multiplicity of agencies at the ports. noting that he as the responsibility to reduce the number of government agencies operating at the seaports.