Why BUA Terminal was decommissioned- NPA

MD NPA, Hadiza Bala Usman

The Nigerian Ports Authority (NPA) has stated that failure to honour some of the terms of the concession agreement was responsible for its decommissioning of Rivers Ports Terminal B being operated by Bua Ports and Terminals Ltd.
The NPA also refuted claims by the company that the decommissioning was as a result of NPA’s refusal to fulfill certain obligations including refusal to abide by a court order, provision of security, dredging of the port, repair, renew and rebuild quay walls.

In a statement by Mr. Jatto Adams, the General Manager, Corporate and Strategic Communications of the NPA, the Authority said the decommissioning of Rivers Ports Terminal was out of safety concerns.

“This concern resulted from a May 16, 2019 BUA Ports and Terminals Limited letter informing us that the “jetty is in a state of total dilapidation and in urgent need of repair or reconstruction…our engineers have advised us that the jetty is liable to collapse at any moment…” the statement read in part.

The NPA, however, said that “BUA only commenced writing the authority requesting to reconstruct the berth after the termination notice had been issued following 10 years of refusal to fulfill this obligation. How can you request to reconstruct a berth which you have no legal claim to, following the termination?”

It continued that prior to the period of the decommissioning, BUA Terminal did not complain when it carried on in its business in the same premises and recording 117 vessels carrying liquid and dry bulk cargos berthing.

According to the NPA, the company’s handling of such number of vessels in its facility automatically refutes its claims that the NPA flouted the orders of a court of law. “Moreso, the total number of vessels berthed showed that they have been making full commercial use of the terminal even with the poor quay walls and low draft.”

The NPA noted that the company had failed to commence reconstruction work of the berth in the last 10 years, an agreement that should have been complied with within a stipulated 90 days.

It said that the action of negligence by the company not fixing the dilapidated portions exposed the berth to pockets of theft where pipes and steel beams were removed.

The NPA, however, stated that it would not be deterred from performing its rightful oversight duties, rather, it would diligently pursue the arbitration process, which it initiated despite the delay by BUA.