Council calls for effective port system


NPCC Chairman, Chief Kunle Folarin,

Chief Kunle Folarin, Chairman, Nigerian Ports Consultative Council (NPCC), has urged stakeholders in the maritime industry to work toward an effective port system.
Folarin, a maritime economist, made the plea in an interview with the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) in Lagos.

He said it was wrong to review the port concession from a single perspective and leaving out the others.

``When we are looking at the performance of the ports in the concession regime, you must look at it in totality.

``You consider how the Customs, the Harbour Services Department and other statutory agencies that function within the terminals, have impacted on the productivity of the terminal.

``We have to look at compliance monitoring, as provided for in the concession agreement and how much efforts are coming from the Nigerian Ports Authority (NPA).

``The Nigerian Ports Authority is to ensure compliance as the enforcing authority of the concession agreement,’’ Folarin said.

He said it was important to consider the investment profile of concessionaires and to also look at the objectives of reducing the costs of doing business at the ports.

According to him, the concessionaires should be responsible for investment in port equipment and the port modernisation processes.

``They are supposed to invest in equipment, in materials, in skilled manpower, to be able to raise the productivity level of the terminals,’’ the maritime economist said.

He, however, said the objective of port concession had not been fully met, adding that it was possibly due to the fact that the concessionaires had not been properly monitored for compliance.

``How ready was the NPA at the time they handed over to the terminal operators?
``Perimeter fencing was not in place, equipment audit was not fully certified.

``In other words, from take-off, the implementation of the concession was defective,” Folarin noted.