The Nigerian Shippers’ Council (NSC) has threatened to cancel the licenses of Inland Container Depot (ICD) concessionaires if they fail to leave up to expectation and terms contained in a new agreement recently carried out with the Infrastructure Concession Regulatory Commission (ICRC).
Executive Secretary of the Council, Hassan Bello gave the warning yesterday when he met with the various ICDs concessionaires at the NSC’s headquarters in Lagos.
Bello said while the government will do everything possible to ensure that all the inland dry ports become ports of origin, the concessionaires must also show some level of commitment in the development of the ICDs.
According to him, “If for any reason, we see some unwillingness to execute this project the government will not hesitate to terminate this concession.
“The government has an obligation to bring out consistence policies that will encourage private sectors to perform. The concessionaires too have an obligation. Government is an enabler and will do everything possible to ensure that these projects come on stream but we also need to see some level of work to show some seriousness on the side of the concessionaires.
“The private sector must show some responsibility because now we have in that agreement new time lines and we have to act according to the time lines. Anywhere you want us to intervene for you to grow don’t hesitate to tell us but I am telling you now that we also want to see action and if we don’t see action according to the agreement, we will not hesitate at all to cancel any concession,” he said.
Bello said there was need for a new agreement with the ICDs concessionaires because the previous agreement was not done on a public private partnership term and without any regulatory framework.
While presenting copies of the agreement to the concessionaires, Bello said they are expected to study the agreement and come up with their own inputs on how the development of the ICDs could be accelerated.
“We are now having a new agreement which we have done with the Infrastructure Concession Regulatory Commission (ICRC). This agreement is more agreeable, modern and it is in tune with the legal framework of public private partnership and it is easier to accomplish than the previous agreement.
“The previous agreement was done without any regulatory framework. We are going to give every concessionaire copies of the agreement and we expect you to study the agreement and make contributions and inputs so that we can come up in two week ‘time because we cannot unilaterally make the agreement without our key parties,” he said.
Bello said the Council will also redeploy some of its staff from the headquarters in Lagos to monitor the activities and development of the dry ports instead of relying on existing area and zonal offices.
Speaking to newsmen shortly after the meeting, concessionaire of the Jos ICD, Dr. Godfrey Bawo-Shitgurum said they are willing to study the agreement and would be back in two weeks to see if there is need for any amendment before it would take effect.
The inland container depots was a concept developed by the federal government through the Nigerian Shippers’ Council to bring shipping to the doorstep of inland shippers, decongest the seaports and reduce cost of transportation among others.
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