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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.

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