A public sector funding agency; Agence Française de Development (AFD) which is promoted by the French Government has expressed readiness to support the Nigerian Ports Authority (NPA) in the quest to modernise and expand port infrastructure.
A high-level team from AFD and the Lagos Metropolitan Area Transport Authority (LAMATA) met with the management of NPA recently to hold discussions regarding credit support for Port infrastructure development, among other critical transport assets in the State.
Acting Managing Director, Muhammed Bello -Koko, told his guests that the NPA welcomes every support to retool and upgrade port infrastructure in Nigeria to world-class status. He indicated the desire of the NPA to collaborate with development partners like AFD, since the credit support does not require sovereign guarantee and comes with flexible moratorium and repayment plan.
The Acting Managing Director informed the AFD delegation that he recently attended a meeting between the NPA, the Federal Ministry of Transportation and port Terminal Operators, where discussions centered on ways of funding of port renewal projects, especially at the Lagos Ports Complex (LPC) in Apapa and the Tin-Can Island Ports Complex (TICP).
The AFD team, led by David Margonsztern, disclosed that his Agency operates a credit facility agreement with the Lagos State Government and his team is currently carrying out an Implementation Support Mission on Lagos State Strategic Transport Master Plan (LSTMP).
“Our visit to the NPA is therefore to explore funding opportunities to support port infrastructure renewal under the Lagos Urban Transport Sector programme, he explained.
The AFD he said, intends to partner with the NPA on infrastructure expansion and modernization programmes in Lagos State, especially the development of facilities like truck parks and improvement of access corridors to the port, for the benefit of residents and businesses in Lagos as well as the Nigerian economy generally.
The NPA MD while commending the joint team from AFD and LAMATA for the visit, assured that the agency would continue to embrace relations and actions that would position the Port system in Nigeria on the path of sustainable growth.