By Godfrey Bivbere & Vivian Nwokedi
Managing Director of the Nigerian Ports Authority (NPA), Engr. Omar Suleiman has announced plans by the authority to generate N132.655 billion in 2011, even as he noted that they would embark on capital projects to improve ports operations in the country.
Suleiman disclosed this during the presentation of NPA 2011 budget proposal to the members of House of Representatives and Senate Committee on Marine Transport in Abuja.
He noted that apart from the regular source of income, NPA would also get revenue from 4,295 ocean going vessels and 17,676 coastal vessels.
He also pointed out that the port would witness 81 million gross registered tonnage of ocean going vessels, 5 million gross registered tonnage of coastal vessels and 76 million gross registered tonnage of crude oil tanker this year.
Suleiman explained that N84.9 billion would be spent on capital projects while recurrent expenditure would gulp N47 billion. He stressed that N7 billion would be spent to develop new port facilities.
The managing director declared that N30.87 billion would be collected from ship traffic, harbour dues, (N44.06 billion); administrative revenue, (N48.59billion) and four per cent port development levy, (N8.1 billion).
Other revenue, he said, would come in from royalties/throughput fees, (N7.6billion); ship dues, (N27.6billion); berth rent, (N241million); annual lease fee,(N21.7billion); oil terminals, (N3.47billion); estate rent, (N5.1billion) and port piers, (N517million).
The managing director also explained that attention would be paid on training.
To this end, he said that N1.2billion would be spent on staff training.
Suleiman said that the authority was expected to spend N11.5million on scholarship.
On repairs and maintenance, he stressed that a total of N441.3 million would be spent on buildings, wharves/corrosion, protection, roads and sidings, vessels, buoys, channels and waterways including buoyage system, motor vehicles, office furniture and office equipment.
He added that hazard and furniture allowances would gulp N70 million and N3.59 billion respectively.
Suleiman stressed that the authority had earmarked N1.51 billion for senior staff salary basic and N663 million for junior staff salary basic
He noted that NPA was developing the necessary infrastructure as part of efforts to make Nigerian seaports the hub in the West African region.
He added that it had become imperative to spend more money on infrastructure, as this will enable the authority make more money in the subsequent years.
Suleiman also said that it was inevitable to spend the amount because of the need to expand the existing port facilities in order to cope with the increasing cargo traffic and port congestion.
He declared: “The fact that NPA is going into green field development, there is need to spend more money.”
“The one stop shop system will improve trade facilitation and enhance dwell time of cargo.
This would lead to improved port efficiency and increase in revenue
Suleiman added that the removal of 25 critical wrecks and the deepening of the Lagos channel would attract bigger vessels, leading to increase in gross registered tonnage vessels and ships turnaround time.
He stressed: “Removal of wrecks will erased double handling of vessels in the channels and facilitate quick arrival of cargo at the Nigerian ports.
“Nigeria needs to compete favourably in the West and Central Africa sub regions”
The managing director also noted that the removal of some items from the import restriction list in line with the policies of the federal government geared towards trade liberalization will boost the cargo traffic.
He told the committees that the increase in the age limit of fairly used vehicles imported into the country from 10 to 15 years would lead to increase in vehicles traffic, noting that the diversion of goods particularly vehicles to neighbouring ports in the west African sub region would be reduced.
Suleiman declared: “The N500 billion intervention fund establishment for the power manufacturing and aviation sectors to refinance facilities at the single digit interest rate would boost importation of raw materials and cargoes.
The managing director also explained to the senate committee that there would be suplus of 315.5 million, saying that 80percent of thesuplus would be paid into the Federation Account.