Terminal operators in Calabar lament over inactivity as NPA says it’ll review concession agreement

The Managing Director of Nigerian Ports Authority (NPA), Hadiza Usman, on Wednesday said that the port concession agreement would be reviewed.

Usman said this in Calabar at the commencement of a three-day facility tour of the Calabar port.

Usman went on tour of concessioned facilities including Intels Logistics Services Nigeria Ltd, Ecomarine Terminals and Shoreline Logistic Ltd.

She said that the review of the concession agreement would have to be carried out in order to put all players on the same page. She spoke against the backdrop of many complaints by concessionaires in the port.

Usman said that the concession agreement should be adhered to.

All the three major operators in the port lamented over inactivity, saying that they were experiencing 25 per cent capacity utilisation in the port.

The General Manager, ECM Terminals Ltd, Kingsley Iheanacho, said that the terminal no longer earned revenue from yard operations. He said that container vessels and clearing agents were not coming to the port.

Iheanacho said that the terminal was just barely managing to remain afloat and operating skeletal services.

“Presently, we are having 25 per cent utilisation and that is what Calabar port is all about,” he said.

He lamented that the management of the terminal spent a lot of money monthly to maintain equipment at the facility.

“We were assured dredging would be completed by December 2006 but this has not been done,” Iheanacho said.

Welcoming the new managing director, the Port Manager of Calabar Port, Oluseyi Ogunbdele, said the port management and the General Manager, Eastern Ports, had been engaging stakeholders on how to boost container traffic in the port. He recalled that when he assumed duty in Sept. 2015, he inherited some challenges ranging from the relocation of passenger boat operations from the National Inland Waterways Authority (NIWA) jetty to shoreline terminal.

Ogundele also spoke about the problems of power supply and congestion along the port access road.

“Today, passenger boat operation is running smoothly at shoreline logistics terminal; public power supply had been restored; and the heavy traffic gridlock along the port access road has been contained.

“Again, through the initiative of local port management, the wreckage of a ship “Hope of ECOWAS” which has been a long-standing limitation to port operation has been removed.

“Other wreck such as `Cala Niger’, is also on the verge of being removed,” he said.

He said that other challenges confronting the port management include completion of the dredging of the Calabar channel and provision of modern equipped tugs and pilot cutters.

Ogundele also called for guaranteed security in the port and its channels.

He complained about erosion menace within the port and at Harbour Village and the bad state of the common user roads within the concessioned terminals and the entire port.

On revenue in the first half of the year, the port manager said that the Nigerian National National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) is indebted to NPA an amount of N152.8 million.

He said that from January to June 2016, the port generated N450.9 and 7.5 million dollars, while N106.9 million 6.2 million dollars were collected in the same period of 2015.

According to Ogundele, in the first half 216 vessels entered the port with 1.8 million tonnes against 165 vessels with 2.1 million tonnes in the corresponding period of 2015.

He said that this showed 30.91 per cent increase in vessel traffic and 15.1 per cent decrease in Gross Registered Tonnage (GRT).

“A total of 1.0 million tonnes of cargo was handled during the first half in the port compared to 1.1 million tonnes recorded in the same period of 2015, indicating 10.29 per cent decrease.



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