By Godwin Oritse
THE Nigerian Chambers of Shipping, NCS, has called on the government to carry out a full audit of terminal operators with a view to evaluating the concession agreement it signed with the concessionaires.
Speaking to Vanguard Maritime Report on the sideline of the recently concluded stakeholders meeting hosted by the Senate Committee on Marine Transport, president of the Chambers, Mr. Andy Isichei, said that it was high time the government, through the Nigerian Ports Authority, NPA, carry out an audit of these terminal operators to ascertain their compliance to the concession agreements.
Isichei explained that concessionaires have failed in leaving up to the contract they went into with the government.
He queried the actual level of investments they have made against what they promised to make in the Nigerian Ports industry in terms of automation, equipment and infrastructure.
He expressed the view that if the concessionaires had played their part in the agreement, the current traffic gridlock being experienced in and around the port area would not happen.
“Have they expanded the terminals, and upgraded on what they met on ground or are leveraging on existing government infrastructure?, he queried.
He lamented that terminal operators arbitrarily increased tariffs without giving return to the government, adding that despite the increase in cargo traffic, the physical space remains the same.
He said: “We need a report, an honest report, what did you promise, what did you do, the audit should be a criteria for granting extension of concession.
“If I were the Managing Director of NPA, any terminal owing lease fee will not have its concession renewed.”