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Senate wants fixed tariff for terminal operators

The Senate Committee on Privatisation has directed the Nigerian Ports Authority to introduce fixed tariff for terminal operators at the nation’s ports.

The Chairman of the Committee, Sen. Olugbenga Obadara, said this on Monday during a visit to NPA headquarters in Lagos.

He said a fixed tariff regime would result in a raise in the revenue profile of the organisation.

“The committee wants to know what is being generated either quarterly or half yearly because the space at the ports belongs to the Federal Government.

“The committee is inspecting not only the ports, but also all the government agencies so that there will be a progression in revenue and not a drop,” Obadara said.

According to him, the visit afforded them the opportunity of listening to the complaints of some of the terminal operators including Josepdam Service Ltd and Five Star Logistics operating at Tin Can Island Port.

“The terminal operators complained of the delay in completing port rehabilitation, the access road which has affected quick delivery of cargoes and low profit margin.

“The committee spent more than 25 minutes at Tin Can Island Port and surprisingly, the terminal operators were unable to provide receipts of the monthly remittances to NPA.

“We need money to finance NPA’s budget and if the operators cannot tell us where the money is, NPA should be able to tell us,” said Obadara from Ogun Central.

In his response, the Managing Director of NPA, Malam Habib Abdulahi, told the committee that the mandate of NPA had changed since the port concession regime came into being some years ago.

Abdulahi urged the Lagos State Government to collaborate with the Federal Government in ensuring that trucks plying Apapa-Oshodi Expressway complied with the necessary regulations and laws.

“We have already engaged consultants to look into 25 years development plan at the ports on the ocean side.

“Maybe we should start thinking of moving the ports gradually to some islands in Lagos such as the Snake Island.

“Possibly that may reduce the stress of doing business at the ports.”

On the terminal operators, Abdulahi said there was need to review the agreement reached with them after five years of operation.

He said, “For instance, Energy Nigeria Ltd has complained of drop in revenue as a result of the ban on importation of cement which has caused a drop by 40 per cent, while the duty payable on rice also dropped by 15 per cent.

“The import policy on fish has also affected their business and we have to keep looking at the changes so that NPA will keep reviewing the agreement.

“Five Star Logistics says the policy on importation of cars may also affect its minimum tonnage in 2015.”

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