The Senate committee on privatisation and commercialisation has hailed the nation’s port concession deal, saying that within two years, the exercise had recorded huge success.
Speaking after its visit to Port Harcourt and Onne the visits, Senator Ayo Arise, Chairman of the Committee said the Federal Government is achieving to a large extent its objectives of the concession programme. “I will say that we have been to several terminals, and have observed a high level of improvement in activities, infrastructural development, and better efficiency in its operations, and increase draught”.
The committee however frowned at it saw at Bua terminals saying that it was far below expectations compared to the second terminal operator at Port Harcourt Ports. Its chairman said: “Obviously, we are disappointed about what we saw at Bua terminals, and we have to go back to the drawing board to find out why they are not meeting the concession agreement, look at options and all options will be considered. We will look at their legitimate problems and if we feel less satisfied, then we will consider other options”.
At Onne Ports, the committee visited both the Federal Lighter Terminal (FLT) and Federal Ocean Terminal (FOT) where they were received Managing Director, Brawal Shipping by Dr. Christopher Odili who disclosed that despite the challenges, and very difficult circumstances under which the company operates, it has been able to achieve 92 per cent compliance with the concession agreement.
The committee was also at Intels where it expressed satisfaction with its level of performance. Here they were told that the company has created 8,000 jobs directly and another 20,000 jobs indirectly at the Onne oil and gas free zone.
Some of the challenges it is facing include lack of electricity supply, even as the company called attention to the poor state of the seven kilometer road leading to the free zone, which has been abandoned for some years.
Responding, chairman of the committee, Senator Arise commended Intels for the achievements and rate of growth over the years, even as he raised the concern that the company would muscle other firms from been able to develop and grow at Onne Port.