NPA Assures Stakeholders Tin Can Island Collapsing Aprons Rehabilitation Utmost Concern on its Agenda

NPA Assures Stakeholders Tin Can Island Collapsing Aprons Rehabilitation Utmost Concern on its Agenda

Joy Mmereole Okoli

The Nigerian Ports Authority have indicated that the collapsing quay aprons and huge gullies at Tin Can Island Port (TCIP) are top items on  Infrastructural Renewal Agenda for them.

This is coming as stakeholders of the industry gathered at a breakfast meeting organised by the Maritime Reporters Association of Nigeria (MARAN) yesterday at Rockview hotel, Apapa. 

The Managing Director of the Nigeria Ports Authority (NPA), Mr. Mohammed Bello-Koko, said that the deplorable state of the TCIP infrastructure has become a top priority on the Agency’s Infrastructural Renewal Agenda.

The breakfast meeting themed: “Rehabilitation of Tin Can Island Port: Proffering Workable Solutions,” had the NPA boss confirm that the infrastructure deficts at Tin Can has been a seriously deliberated issue at the Authority.

Bello-Koko, who was represented by the General Manager, NPA Managing Director’s office, Mr. Ayodele Durowaiye, stated that the Authority is exploring numerous funding alternatives to address port infrastructural challenges, including Public-Private Partnerships (PPP).

While delivering his speech, he observed that Tin Can and Apapa ports account for over 60 per cent of the nation’s cargo traffic annually, even as he expressed regret that the TCIP port facility has been overstretched since it was established in 1977.

“The problem of collapsed quay aprons at Tin Can Island Port is top on the NPA Infrastructural Renewal Agenda of the Authority as the port has been operating far above its as-built capacity for decades,” he said.

Dr. Eugene Nweke, Head of Research, Sea Empowerment Research Centre who was the chairman of the occasion,  opined that the current state of the nation’s port should necessitate an urgent declaration of state of emergency with the collapsed quay aprons and other flaws at seaports.

Nweke described seaports as vital components in global shipping business and maintained that they be carefully managed as the physical interchange or middle grounds for the trading community.

Also speaking, President General  of the Maritime Union of Nigeria (MWUN), Prince Adewale Adeyanju revealed that the union was considering the option of withdrawing its services from TCIP with effect from Monday July 10, 2023 over the deplorable port infrastructure.

On his part, a former Director General of the Nigerian Maritime Administration and Safety Agency (NIMASA), Barrister Temisan Omatseye, opined that utilising of river ports and barge operations will significantly reduce the traffic and pressure at Lagos ports.

According to Omatseye, an erroneous perception of insecurity at Eastern ports make Nigerian shippers prefer Lagos ports; while threats of War Risk Insurance Premiums also makes shipping lines dread Eastern ports.

While corroborating Omatseye’s views on barging as alternative for cargo evacuation, the President of Barge Operations Association of Nigeria (BOAN), Honoursble Olubunmi Olumekun, asserted that the N50million bank guarantee for licensing barge operators poses a huge challenge.

Olumekun equally lamented that barge operators pay charges to NPA in dollars whereas they receive their income in naira.

Speaking on the issue of dollar charges, the Executive Secretary of Nigerian Shippers’ Council (NSC), Hon. Emmanuel Jime opined that barge operators should pay their charges to regulators in naira.

The NCS boss who presided over the inauguration of the Newly elected executives, encouraged BOAN to make an official complaint to NSC on the issue of dollar payments.

Other dignitaries at the event were; Chairman, Board of Trustees, Nigeria Shipowners’ Association (NISA), Chief Isaac Jolapomo; Chief Executive, Kamany Marine Services Limited, Mr. Charles Okorefe; former President of MARAN, Elder Asu Beks; Publisher of MMS Plus newspaper, Mr. Kingsley Anaroke; among others
.R-L: A former Director General, Nigerian Maritime Administration and Safety Agency (NIMASA), Barr. Temisan Omatseye; President, Maritime Reporters' Association of Nigeria (MARAN), Mr. Godfrey Bivbere; Executive Secretary, Nigerian Shippers' Council (NSC), Hon. Emmanuel Jime; and the General Manager, NPA Managing Director's office, Mr. Ayodele Durowaiye; during a breakfast meeting on the deplorable port infrastructure at Tin Can Island Port, organized by MARAN, in Lagos, yesterday.

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