Kirikiri Phase 1& 2 Terminals: Transportation Minister orders NPA to stay action on concession


The Minister of Transport, Hon. Rotimi Amaechi has ordered that the Nigerian Ports Authority (NPA) stay action on the concessioning of Kirikiri lighter terminals phase 1 and 2.

 The minister gave the instruction on Monday at a maritime conference in Lagos when stakeholders urged government to implement a presidential directive on the establishment of an international fishing terminal at the said location.
The minister reacting to the plea by Mrs Margret Orakwusi, Chairperson of the Shipowners Forum and former President, Nigerian Trawler Owners Association (NITOA) for the enforcement of the directive given by Chief Olusegun Obasanjo, said there was a counter directive signed by former President Goodluck Jonathan and the Federal Executive Council (FEC) relinquishing the terminals to concessionaires.
 He disclosed that the Ministry of Transport had also received a letter from the Minister of Agriculture and Rural Development which stated that the withdrawal of the terminal from fish trawler operators had taken a negative toll on the fisheries sector and invariably, the nation’s economy.
 Amaechi said it is necessary for the NPA to halt every arrangement on the handing over the terminals to private interests as the Presidency and Federal Executive Council (FEC) may revoke the directive to engage concessionaires after further deliberations.
 He also stated that NPA had said that it revoked the permission granted trawler operators in Nigeria to use the terminals because it was only temporal.
 Orakwusi had earlier stated that operators of fish trawlers had invested over three billion naira in the maintenance of the both terminals.
She urged government to reconsider the decision as it is detrimental to the fisheries sector.
 Chief Adebayo Sarumi, former MD, Nigerian Ports Authority (NPA) who was present when former President Obansanjo handed the terminals over to the fish trawlers said the decision should not be over ruled as the terminals have never been fully utilised.
Speaking on behalf of the Minister of Agriculture and Rural Development , Mr Audu Ogbeh at the event, Mrs B. Adepegba, the Deputy Director and Head, Fish Quality Assurance & Fish Disease Management called on government to revisit the establishment of the fishing terminals as it has enormous benefits for the development of the industry.
 She also called for the security of the investments of fish trawler operators who she said had many times suffered sea pirate attacks which resulted in both loss of businesses and deaths.
 The fisheries sector which was once the second largest non- oil export revenue earner for Nigeria had not showed up the radar in recent times for alleged lack of an enabling environment.
 It is said that many operators in Nigeria have relocated to neighbouring West African countries.
 While investors wait for the final decision of government, available statistics reveals that the fisheries sector in Ghana generates US$ 1 billion in revenue each year and supports about 135,000 fishers in the marine sub-sector alone.
 Ghana’s fisheries contributes 4.5 percent to annual GDP and indirectly support the livelihoods of 2.2 million people or 10% of all people in Ghana.