MD NPA, Hadiza Bala Usman

The Nigerian Ports Authority NPA has signed a Memorandum of Understanding MoU with APM Capital on the deployment of barges to evacuate containers from the seaports in Lagos to Ikorodu, Epe and beyond in line with efforts of the current management of the authority to address the gridlock on port access roads.

In signing the agreement, both parties observed and agreed that the provision of infrastructure was crucial for sustainable operation of the seaports and that both parties would continue to   pursue a programme of infrastructural investments.

That NPA and APMC entered discussions and have agreed to find a lasting solution to the traffic situation in and around the ports, and that there is a need to provide the level of required infrastructure.

That APMC has indicated its interest to provide technical capacity, competence, experience, financial capacity and other required resources to execute or cause the project required resources to execute or cause the project required for the attainment of the set objectives.

That the projects currently being contemplated under the MoU include the construction of a jetty and truck park to facilitate the movement of cargo by barge from the ports, that APMC understands that some associated investments like construction of truck holding bays maybe required to support the option in item four above.

That APMC intends to commit financial and human resources to further explore these solutions even though the exact nature of infrastructure to be provided may differ from the option currently being envisage in the course of further studies and time spent on the project.

Speaking when   she hosted  a team from AP Moller  Capital   in her office on Wednesday, the Managing Director of NPA, Hadiza Bala Usman, while speaking during a visit by  a team from AP Moller  Capital, attributed to gridlocks that characterise port access roads in Apapa to several decades of neglect, which has given rise to multiplicity of other problems.

According to her, NPA had made   several efforts including contributing N1.8billion to rehabilitate some of the roads in addition to the recent introduction of the Call Up System, which requires trucks to remain in their dedicated  truck terminal as against the former practice of littering the roads. She also disclosed that the system which is currently manual would soon be upgraded to operate electronically.

She therefore assured that NPA would continue to consult with stakeholders across all levels, since the provision of infrastructure remains crucial for sustainable ports operations, assuring that the authority would build on the current synergy that exists between NPA and the various stakeholders to make the ports more efficient and user-friendly.

The MD also expressed appreciation to the Minister of Transport, Rotimi Amaechi and the governing board of the authority as well as the management of APM Capital for making the MoU possible.

Meanwhile, Senior Investment   Advisor of   APM   Capital, Fleming Dalgaard, while speaking during the event, hinted that the company would construct a jetty and truck park to facilitate the movement of cargo using barges from the seaports in Lagos, assuring that the company will also provide   technical knowhow, capital, competent and experienced human capital as well as financial capacity and other required resources for the project..

Dalgaard   commended openness of the management of NPA adding that such transparency and efficiency were part of the quality that excited the management of the company to accept the signing of the MOU, assuring that it is also committed to its full implementation.

Also in attendance at the occasion were the General Manager/ Board Secretary/Legal Services of NPA, Eniola Williams and General Manager Public Private Partnership Mr. Usoro Usoro as well as General Manager, Corporate and Strategic Communications Division of NPA, Engr. Adams. Jatto while the APM Capital was represented by its Advisor, Amina Oyagbola and Senior Associate Rotimi Tewe, among several others.