Seaports: FG urged to review concession agreements

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By; KAYODE ATOFOLAKI, Lagos.

Maritime Stakeholders has called on the Federal Government to critically review concession agreements of the ntion’s Seaports.

Rising from the one day seminar which critically reviewed “A Decade of the Nigerian Ports Concession Programme” organised by Maritime Reporters’ Association of Nigeria, stakeholders said that the review has become necessary because of observable discrepancies in its observation and implementation.

One of the lapses was that the agreement made no provision for the establishment of commercial regulator to monitor the level of compliance with concession areements by the terminal operators.

They condemned the act of impunity and non recognition of  the Nigerian Shippers Council appointed by the commercial regulator by foreign terminal operators. They wondered if such could be tolerated in their respective home countries.

They equally condemned the clause in the concession or lease agreement which permitted resolution of crisis resulting from the agreement in countries other than Nigeria, pointing out that was what they had relied on to arbitrarily increase charges without discussing with the NPA and the disregard for the Nigerian Shippers Council appointed by the Federal Government as commercial regulator.

Stakeholders also wants activities of parastatals, namely; NPA, NSC and NIMASA to be clearly difined, adding that as it presently obtained, there are overlapping and conflicting functions among them, citing for example the issue of wreck removals and responsibility for labour force in the Port.

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