Otunba Kunle Folarin (Chairman, Port Consultative Council) First of all, I would want them to look at the gross minimum tonnage, because in this recession era, none of the terminal operators could meet their target. But then, it should not be a whole sale review because the terminal operators are supposed to do marketing of their terminals to increase the gross minimum tonnage, so it shouldn't be a cancellation, they should give some conditionality in meeting the level they should attain. Secondly they should look at the investments, this is key to their being awarded the concession, this is the way you can modernise the port. Thirdly, they should look at interventions, I fear that there is no real sanctions in the concession agreements, there must be sanctions for non-compliance; this can start by giving a definite role to NPA in monitoring and implementation of the concession.
Remi Ogungbemi (President,AMATO)I am not in government, let the people in government do what they believe that is good for the masses. But for me I want to say that the concession is a blessing to government and to many Nigerians, but it is a curse to truck owners. It is a curse in the sense that most of the places and facilities that we were enjoying before the concession we don’t have them again, they have all gone with the concession. So if they are coming up to review the concession they should consider the movement of trucks. During the first concession, they did that we are using now, they didn’t carry truck owners along. Any review of the concession if they want it to succeed, they must carry truck owners along.
Major Henry Ajetunmobi (General Manager, Sifax Haulage)As a terminal operator, the major issue is this dollarization of our dues, I think it would be good and in the interest of terminal operators if a special rate could be allocated to the maritime sector in the interest of boosting activities in the industry. Also, there should be some assistance in terms of the government taking care of its counterpart responsibilities; we want to conserve our funds strictly on operations and operational equipment, not to be taking care of infrastructure like running the terminal on generators, which is the responsibility of the government in the concession agreement. It is high time that government looked into it and took such areas seriously.
Chiaka Nwaogu (General Secretary AMATO)If they want to review the NPA concession, they should review what is happening in APMT. What is happening there is something else. Every day is either their system breaks down or something will happen; our drivers suffer a lot there. You don’t go there now and hope to come out in the next three hours. They will take you to a place where they will tell you that your container is there and you will find out that your container is not there. Even when the container is there, they don’t have the equipment to load the container for you. Unlike Tin Can when immediately you get there, your driver will call you that they have loaded. The only problem with Tin Can is how to get there, they have bad assess load. APMT have taken Nigerians as if we are slaves, what they are doing here, the government has not taken out time to see what they are doing here. They should review them, let’s see the way forward.
Tunde Keshinro (G.M, Grimaldi)It is a welcome development. I think in the process of the review, the government will see the things they are supposed to do that are yet to be done. The concession is not a one-way thing; the government has their own role to play and the operators have theirs too. I also think that during the review, the government will appreciate the contributions of the private operators in the industry. So to me, the review is a welcomed development.
Kayode Odunowo (NARTO Deputy State Chairman)On the review on the Nigerian Ports Authority (NPA) concession, I am calling on the government to look into APMT, they are not functioning well, and their operation is very bad. We gave those 14 days ultimatum that we are going to stop patronising their terminal if they do not stop the way they are treating us. NPA cannot even talk to them; we have written so many letters that the NPA didn’t do anything about. The Police and the Shippers Council have intervened based on the ultimatum we gave them but APMT have not called us or have shown any concern. Even the Shippers Council asked if APMT has called us and I told them that they have not called us. Are they the only terminal we have in Apapa?
Lucky Amiwero (Chief Executive, Eyis Resources Limited)One aspect that needs to be adjusted is the cargo throughput calculations, when the government was calculating the throughput, they were calculating it on the basis of what we had at that time. But presently, 70% of the throughput is not coming, so how do they pay, this are areas they should look at in reviewing the contracts. It is wrong for government to be charging private terminal operators based on cargo throughput and in US dollars, when volume of cargo at the port has drastically reduced. One of the critical policies that are crippling the economy is the exchange rate policy because even if you have the money to import, you cannot get the foreign exchange. The foreign exchange policy of the government is being converted by some few people who use it to enrich themselves.
Dr. Zebulon Ikokide (Stakeholder)The NPA needs to review the charges they collect from the terminal operators; this is one area that is creating problems for the concessionaires. Suppose the NPA is a bit fair with the charges they collect from the terminal operators, I think there would be some level of fair play as regards port charges. However, the idea of reviewing the concession agreement should start from the NPA itself, it is better for government to have it at the back of their mind that the reviewing of the concession agreement is not going to be one sided.