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House of Reps promise to revisit port concession agreement

By Godwin ORITSE
THE Chairman House of Representatives Committee on Customs and Excise Honourable Umar Farouk has frowned at the unpatriotic attitude of some of the terminal operators at the ports  the committee visited  recently and promised to revisit the concession agreement they signed with the Federal Government.

Speaking to Vanguard in Lagos when the Committee paid an over sight function visit to the Tin -Can Island Command in Apapa, Umar Farouk said that the terminal operators are currently reaping more than they are investing.

The law maker stated that the Committee is going to review the concession agreement adding that any concessionaire who has done any thing contrary to the agreement will be dealt with accordingly.

The Committee, after its visit to the terminal said  “what we saw there was disgusting” The Committee Chairman stated that operators of the terminal do have the technical capability to run the port. His words “Early this morning we visited the ports in Apapa and one of the concessionaire  happened to be on the very bad side of the service. “We are going to sit on this issue and the correct thing must be done, if there is defect in the agreement signed with them, we will look into it and see how we it can be corrected.

The Committee chairman noted that due process was not followed in the course of the port reform programme adding that all the blunders committed during the exercise will be corrected. It will be recalled that right from inception when the Federal Government announced its intention to concession the ports, a strong opposition had risen against the move.

Some stakeholders and maritime analysts at the time were of the opinion that the maritime sector of the nation’s economy was not ripe for private operators to run the ports. Besides the outburst from Nigerians against the port concession programm, some port managers from the Port of Antwerp also advised the management of the Nigerian Ports Authority (NPA) against the moves.


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