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Non-passage of Ports & Harbour, NTC Bills renders port reform ineffective, – BPE

The Acting Director-General of the BPE, Dr Vincent Akpotaire, has said that non passage of of Ports and Harbour Bill, the National Transport Commission Bill has hampered their affectiveness. The Acting Director-General of the BPE, Dr Vincent Akpotaire, said this in a paper titled: “Port Reform, Objectives, Benefits and Challenges’’, he presented at a two-day retreat on Saturday in Lagos.

The retreat which was organised by the House Committee on Ports, Harbour and Waterways, the Federal Ministry of Transportation and its agencies, is to address the effectiveness of Port reforms. 

The Acting Director-General said the Ports and Harbour Act was meant to strengthen the NPA to perform its role of landlord and technical regulator. The National Transport Commission Act will establish a commission as the economic regulator for all the transport modes except aviation. 

Akpotaire said it is necessary that the reform bill is past as early as possible in order to establish an efficient, strong legal and regulatory framework to ensure fairness and protect the interest of all port operators. He, reiterated that assessment of the BPE shows that an appreciable level of success had been achieved in all the anticipated areas of port concession in the last 10 years. 

He stated that the concessionaires had invested in both cargo handling equipment and upgrade of facilities. “Operators had secured their terminals in line with the International Ship and Port Facility Security (ISPS) Code. “Improved operational efficiency has been recorded in our ports. 

 “Ship waiting time reduced from 21-24 days to o-24 hours. “Average Ship turnaround time reduced from 12 days to about 4 days. “Average dwelling time of containers reduced from over 30 days to les then 10 days. “Average container moves per hour increased from 7 TEUs (20 ft container)  to 19 TEUs (20 ft container) “There is improved berth occupancy rate and reduced number of government agencies,’’ 

Continuing he said government generated N6.03 million dollars from concession fees, entry fees and projected throughput fees in 10 years. He said the NPA had been unable to meet its contractual obligation of dredging the channels and berths to advertised drafts. 

“The NPA has through its outsourcing channels management recorded considerable achievements in improving navigability of the channels,’’ the presence of wrecks and other obstructions in the berths and along port approaches had resulted in low patronage of the affected terminals. 

He emphasized on the need to decongest the road, he suggested that functional rail system is a panacea to decongesting the road. This he said will also help in reducing transport fares.

 

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