NPA secures $700m Citibank loan to rehabilitate Apapa, Tin Can ports

NPA secures $700m Citibank loan to rehabilitate Apapa, Tin Can ports


The $1.1 billion port rehabilitation project announced by the Nigerian Ports Authority (NPA) five months ago received a major boost on Wednesday with the signing of a $700 million facility agreement with Citibank.

Speaking during the signing of a mandate letter with Citibank Nigeria in Lagos, the Managing Director of the NPA, Mohammed Bello-Koko said the agency negotiated a loan of $700million from the Citibank to be funded by the UK Export Finance (UKEF) – an export credit agency, to rehabilitate the Apapa and Tin-Can Island ports, Lagos.

He said NPA has also opened discussion with another funding agency to secure financing for upgrading of the Eastern Ports including Calabar, Warri, Onne and Rivers Ports as well as the reconstruction of Escravos breakwater.

Bello-Koko, said the mandate letter would be sent to Debt Management Office for final review and approval.

The funds, he stated, are ready and the reconstruction of the Lagos ports will start soon, as the NPA perfects plans to sign another mandate letter for the upgrading of the Eastern ports in about a month.

“In the last two years, NPA has realised the need for us to rehabilitate and reconstruct the ports all over the country. We have been having discussions with multilateral funding agencies who have sent various proposals that we have reviewed.

“What we did is to further discussion with interested parties and we realised it is better to separate the ports in Lagos from the ports in the East, and we are in discussion with another funding agencies to fund the construction of ports outside Lagos,” he said.

He said the Citibank facility was the cheapest for Nigeria because its came with affordable interest rate.

NPA secures $700m Citibank loan to rehabilitate Apapa, Tin Can ports

He praised the Minister of Marine Blue Economy, Adegboyega Oyetola for assisting the NPA achieve its key performance indicators

“I want to specially thank the minister for his support and passion for the country. Port efficiency is not about automation, which we have already begun, it is also about the physical infrastructure, which must be in place and that is why we are automating. Automation will naturally bring efficiency, increase revenue and plug leakages,” he said.

Bello-Koko also said that NPA was putting Port Community System, a platform that would improve trade facilitation in place.

“Currently in Nigeria, importers or exporters fill up to 30 to 40 forms for one transaction but the Port Community System will reduce the numbers of forms, human interference and ensure speedy clearance process in or out of the country,” he added

Speaking earlier, the Managing Director of Citibank Nigeria Limited, Ireti Samuel-Ogbu, said the bank is committed to supporting NPA and the Federal Government in bridging infrastructure gap.

“We are absolutely delighted to be partnering with NPA especially being the collection bank for foreign and local currency port levies. Now, supporting this strategic initiative through export credit financing to upgrade port infrastructure in Tin-Can and Lagos Ports is commendable. However, we are committed in supporting NPA and the Nigerian Government in all its endeavours especially in the infrastructure space,” she said.

“Since NPA generates its own foreign revenue, we will be able to support foreign facility from our resources because this project is very strategic and an important project for NPA and the country at large. We are looking forward to this project and we thank NPA for giving us this opportunity and hope to bring this into fruition as soon as possible.”

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