The Managing Director of the Nigerian Ports Authority, NPA, Mohammed Bello Koko has hinted that the reconstruction of the Tincan Island Quay Wall is top on the agenda of the infrastructural renewal efforts of the Authority which he said covers all the ports across the country.
Bello Koko who made this assertion in his keynote address at the Breakfast Meeting on Deplorable State of Tincan Island Port organized by the Maritime Reporters Association of Nigeria, MARAN in Lagos on Thursday observed that Tincan Island Port as one of the busiest ports in the country is receiving the deserved attention at the moment.
Represented by the General Manager, Managing Director’s Office, Mr. Ayo Durowaye, the NPA boss disclosed that the ports, particularly those in Lagos were handling beyond their built capacity in the last twenty years adding that looking at the pressure on them, one would expect that the NPA was doing something about it.
Noting that NPA had explored various options to find sustainable Public Private Partnership, PPP arrangement that would work for them, he said, “Like most of us are aware, it is very difficult these days to find government funding for facility. You just have to be creative and NPA is working assiduously to find funding option that will help us and indeed, where we are today is that we have really had discussions with strong organizations that have the technical competent to help us drive the rehabilitation and renewal efforts for port infrastructure across the country particularly Tincan.”
He further revealed that against insinuations in some quarters that vessels can no longer come to the Tincan Island Port environment again as a result of the deplorable state of the quay apron, he said, “MSC Maureen berthed at Tincan in May 2023 and it has a length overall of 300. That is about the second biggest vessel that came into our environment. So, we believe that what we have in terms of infrastructure is bad but it has been able to accommodate the arrival of these vessels even as we work out solutions that will address them.
“Again, the largest RORO vessel came to the Tincan Island Port just on June 28, 2023. It is called MV Great Antwerp with a LOA of 250. It came around, berthed at PTML and then, discharged its cargo and left.
“Are we saying that we don’t have infrastructural challenges in the Tincan environment? No, we are not saying that but we are saying that it has not come to the level where vessels are avoiding this facility and the government is supporting the effort of the Nigerian Ports Authority to find funding partners that will address the infrastructural challenges that we are facing. What is possible for management internally, our management is doing.”
He further recalled that the Managing Director, about a month ago, inaugurated the rehabilitated Control Towers both at Apapa and Tincan Island Ports even as he posited that the rehabilitation that took place in those two Control Towers was the most comprehensive to date in the ports that existed in the country.
“Are we getting support from government in terms of our efforts? Like I said, what we are doing is actually at the conclusive stage of discussions with both local and international partners with the requisite financial and technical competence to fund these infrastructural development efforts because if you have a problem, like somebody has mentioned here and your selection process for those that are going to take up the project is faulty, you are simply going to prolong the timeframe required to do that.
“That is what we are doing within the Nigerian Ports Authority . Basically, NPA is not resting on its oars, NPA is taking specific steps that are tangible and verifiable to develop port infrastructure across the country and Tincan Island is in focus and the evidence of that is the number of visits that you see that have taken place at Tincan Island both at the ministerial and management levels in the last one year. There’s focus on that port and the management is doing everything possible to turn the situation around”, the MD assured.
Photo: Photo: (L-R): Comrade Prince Adewale Adeyanju, President General, MWUN; Dr. Eugene Nweke, former NAGAFF National President and Chairman of the occasion and Mr. Ayo Durowaye, General Manager, Managing Director’s Office, NPA during the Breakfast Meeting on Deplorable State of Tincan Island Port organized by the Maritime Reporters Association of Nigeria, MARAN in Lagos yesterday.
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