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NPA to construct another deep seaport

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The Managing Director of the Nigerian Port Authority (NPA), Mr Muhammed Bello-Koko has said another deep seaport will be constructed in the country in the next three to four years.

With the construction of the multi-purpose Lekki-Deep Sea Port in Lagos within three years, Bello-Koko said the federal government has given approval for a new port — the Badagry deep seaport.

“If we look at what happened in the Lekki Deep seaport, it took at least three years and we expect that in the next three to four years, another deep seaport will come up. So, the Badagry deep seaport has the Federal Government’s approval.

“The other ports are still developing, and a proposal has been set up for all these port locations and we are working with the Federal Ministry of Transportation and other government agencies to ensure that the business case is properly developed.

“I believe that after the issue of financial construction, most of them would have concluded their financial arrangement, and approvals, and some of them will be working, and we expect to see at least one or two seaports in the next four to five years,” Bello-Koko said in an interview with Nigerian Port Today, a quarterly publication of the NPA obtained by Persecondnews on Thursday.

On Calabar Port, he also explained that the Authority had increased activities at the port by reducing tariffs and collaborating with the Nigerian Navy in providing adequate security.

“That is if I bring in a container here and it is costing me a million naira, if we reduce the tariff, we should be able to bring it to Calabar and there is a committee working on this.

” It is not only tariff that you have to make eastern ports work. You also need to ensure that there is security there, and that is why we are working with the Nigerian Navy,” the NPA CEO said.

Persecondnews gathered that NPA has not increased tariffs since 1994 in spite of the rising inflation rate in the country and also the high cost of doing business in the port.

Bello-Koko said: “The NPA has not increased its tariff since 1993. The rates that we have been using since 1993 are still the same rate that we are using today.

“The last time the NPA increased its tariff was in 1993. Yes, the cost of doing business at the ports may be high, but we have not increased our tariff in the last 30 years.

“It was in 2012 or 2014 that the NPA increased the cost of towage. Every other tariff has remained as it is since 1993. The cost of doing business could be increasing, but it is not attributable to the tariff and rates of the NPA.

“What we did in 2012 was to harmonize the tariffs and merge them because there were so many. Before then, if anybody is looking for our tariffs, they will find many tariffs broken into pieces.

“So, what we did then was to merge them.”

On the rehabilitation of ports across the country, Bello-Koko said he is committed to rehabilitating some quays in Apapa, Warri, Calabar, and Onne.

“Assessment carried out so far shows that $800 million is needed in reconstructing the dilapidated infrastructure.”

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