NPA preaches compliance as Ocean & Cargo takes over Warri Port
BY FRANCIS EZEM
The Nigerian Ports Authority NPA has formally handed over the Terminal B of the Warri Port to the new concessionaire, Ocean and Cargo Terminal Services Limited, which was witnessed by the Bureau of Public Enterprises BPE, insisting that the authority will accept nothing but strict compliance to the concession agreement.
This official handover is sequel to the completion of the concession processes in which Ocean & Cargo Terminal Services Limited emerged the preferred bidder for the Terminal B of the Old Warri Port.
Managing Director of NPA, Hadiza Bala Usman, who was represented by the Executive Director, Marine and Operations, Dr. Sokonte Davies, and Director General, BPE, Mr. Alex Okoh at the official handover ceremony, charged port service users, stakeholders and host communities to monitor the concessionaire’s level of compliance to the set rules
While pledging the support of her agency to the concessionaire, the MD also urged the host communities to cooperate with the company in order for it to operate successfully at the port.
“It is the duty of NPA as the landlord and technical regulator to achieve an efficient and profitable port management in the country. We are delighted that another milestone is recorded today with this hand over to Ocean and Cargo Terminal Services Limited, the winner of the competitive bidding process for the terminal. Be rest assured that NPA will provide the necessary support to help you settle down and operate successfully.
“Let me also use this opportunity to appeal to the host communities to support this company because the presence and smooth operations of this new business will greatly impact the local economy around here”, the MD said.
The DG BPE, Mr. Okoh, who also spoke during at event, described the bidding process that led to the concession as very transparent, adding that the best bidder eventually emerged as the winner. He further urged the concessionaire to abide by the terms of the contract agreement while reiterating the stance of BPE to monitor the company’s operations for strict agreement compliance.
He said: “Port constitutes a strategic gateway to the country and the nation’s economic prosperity depends to a large extent on how efficient the maritime industry fares. That’s the major reason the industry has received a great attention from this administration. We also recognized that port efficiency can best be achieved with the private sector involvement. That’s why we are delighted that this terminal will soon enjoy the level of efficiency that other concessioned terminals across the country have been exposed to over the years.”
Meanwhile, Group Managing Director of SIFAX, Mr. Adekunle Oyinloye, who led the concessionaire’s partner, promised that the company will deliver on the mandate of running an efficient port that will be a pride of all Nigerians. He anchored his confidence on the pedigree of the partners that has spanned over three decades in the maritime industry.
He pledged that areas like customer service, investment in human capital and equipment as well as partnership with regulatory agencies and other stakeholders will receive deserving attention by the company.
Group Executive Vice Chairman of SIFAX, Dr. Taiwo Afolabi, while speaking during the handover, said the new business will not only stimulate economic activities in the local communities, but also contribute greatly to the country’s economic prosperity.