Why Nigeria Banned Importation Of Rice, Vehicles Through Land Border----NPA MD     

Minister of Transportation; Mr Chibuike Rotimi Amaechi (left), the Chairman 2018 International Association for Ports and Harbours ((IAPH) Conference, and former Head of State, General AbdusalamiAbubakar, RTD, (middle), the Managing Director, Nigerian Ports Authority (NPA), Hadiza Bala Usman (right) during the opening ceremony of the IAPH Conference and Exhibition in Abuja, on Monday

• Says Review Of Port Concession Ready In 3 Months

Managing Director of Nigerian Ports Authourity(NPA); Hadiza Bala Usman has explained that one of the reasons importation of used vehicles and rice was banned through land border is because they were being smuggled into the country through neighbouring countries, especially Benin Republic.

The NPA MD said this yesterday at the second day of the ongoing  Regional Conference of International Africa Ports and Harbour (IAPH) with the theme: “Africa Ports and Hinterland Community.

She was reacting to a presentation by Cotonou Port Authourity, which is currently being operated by Antwerp Port Authourity of Germany.

The Managing Director, NPA also disclosed that the review of port concession agreement will be completed in the next three months.

She said that NPA was meeting with the terminal operators to get their inputs on the review of the agreement.

“We have an inter-agency which has all the agencies of government that are part of the concessioning process.

“Also included in the review of the concession process are the Office of the Attorney-General, Bureau of Public Enterprises, Infrastructure Concession Regulatory Commission, Federal Ministry of Transportation, NPA and technical support from World Bank.

“Nigeria should expect a supplementary agreement that will be signed with the concessionaires,” Bala-Usman said.

On the ban on rice and vehicles, she said rice and vehicles are in high demand in Nigeria, but lamented that the two items were usually being smuggled into Nigeria through the land borders with her neighbours.

“Nigeria  has high level of importation of these two items, Nigeria banned their importation because they are regularly being smuggled into Nigeria through the border”, she told the gathering which comprised of port operators and global players in the business of shipping. 

She however acknowledged that the ban on importation of  two items through land borders is affecting the organisation’s revenue. 

The NPA MD also disclosed that Nigeria is looking forward to capturing cargoes from her northern neighbours, especially Niger Republic through the construction  or road access from Kano through Maradin to Niger.

She added that Nigeria is in healthy competition with Cotonou port in Benin Republic.

While presenting a paper on Nigeria’s experience of the Port Governance Model, Hadiza Bala Usman said that the port concession programme is a huge success and that the exercise has led to reduced vessel waiting time and cargo dwell time, as well as increased cargo throughput and improved berth occupancy and improved security.

She added that, while the number of ships calling at Nigerian ports has increased from 3,689 loaded with 46,150,518metric tones of cargo in 2006, the figure has risen to 4,175 ships and 71,903,266metric tones of cargo in 2017.   

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