Local Content: NPA wades into Labour, IOCs rift

•Dangote joins in the shoreline control
•Ministry wants NPA to seek approval for usage

By Godfrey Bivbere

THERE is a battle of ownership of the shoreline opposite Tin-can Island port between the Federal Ministry of Works and Housing and the management of the Nigerian Ports Authority, NPA.

The area is between Tin-can first gate and Second gate popularly known in port circles as Abuja and Port Nouvo.

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Recall that the management of NPA had earlier granted licences to some firms for the use of the shoreline only to revoke same and re-award it to some other firms.

However, following the re-award of the shoreline to new firms, the Federal Ministry of Works and Housing went to the site to install a public signage which indicated it has awarded the contract for landscape development to Dangote Group.

This is even as the Federal Ministry of Works has asked the Nigerian Ports Authority, NPA, to apply to the minister for approval to use the said portion of land.

Before the placement of the public signage by officials of the ministry, NPA had already collected several millions of naira from the firms it granted licences on the two separate occasions.

However, when contacted, NPA’s General Manager, Corporate and Strategic Communication, Olaseni Alakija, said that there is no dispute over the ownership of the land in contention.

Alakija told Vanguard Maritime Report that both the NPA and the ministry are children of the same parent and should be able to sort out any perceived differences.

Similarly, the Federal Controller of Works in charge of Lagos, Olikayode Popoola, who spoke with Vanguard Maritime Report confirmed that the ministry has awarded the said portion of land to the Dangote Group for beautification.

Popoola also denied there was dispute between the two Federal Government agencies but when asked why NPA had to award and re-award the space to some firms, he said he was not aware of the transaction, adding, however, that NPA should apply to the ministry if it intends to exercise any authority over the space.

He said: “We are beautifying the corridor of Apapa/Oshodi expressway; it is a beautification project. That place will serve as a recreational centre where people can go and sit down. We want to beautify that corridor that is the essence of clearing that place. The land belongs to the Federal Ministry of Works and the two of us are children of the same father, both NPA and the Federal Ministry of Works. 

“So if there is anything, I have told them (NPA) that they should write to the Minister.”

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