By Godfrey Bivbere & Ebuka Oko
The Nigerian Ports Authority, NPA, is set to re-designate the nation’s port berths following improvements and new developments in the design of vessels that have made some of the berths inadequate.
Managing Director of the NPA, Hadiza Bala Usman, who made this known when she paid a courtesy visit to the corporate head office of Vanguard Media Limited, publishers of Vanguard Newspapers, said the situation of the berths has made operations difficult for some of the concessionaires.
Usman said that the Authority has commissioned a study to have a look at the current berths situation with a view to bringing them to standard in line with the current developments.
The NPA boss said that with the present state, some of the concessionaires who had three berths would find out at the end of the day that they only have two or one and a half as the case maybe.
She stated: “The lengths of our berths are wrong; I can say that we have outgrown them.
“We have now commissioned the re-designation of the berths, so when we do that your concession agreement might say you have two berths, now you have one, or you do not even have a berth by the time you complete it based on the length it will turn into an entirely different configuration.
“We have commissioned it and it is on-going. So the outcome of it will form part of the review of the concession agreement because all those berth lengths are no more operational, the length are completely outdated.
“Everybody will say you concessioned and gave me three berths but I have one; what’s going on?
“We will get to resolve that, I know that is an issue but it also affects our berths’ occupancy rates. When we review the indices it shows that our berth occupancy rate is very low but that is not why; it is because of the length of our berths,” she noted.