By Victor Oluwasegun
The Committee of the House of Representatives on Privatization and Commercilization has summoned the Minister of Transport Hon. Rotimi Amaechi to appear before it tomorrow (Tuesday) to explain reasons for the delay in the approval of the expired leases/concessions.
The committee headed by Hon. Ibrahim Makama, that the delay may rob the Federal government of investments worth up to $400 million (Four Hundred Million Dollars.
This is following its findings during oversight and interactive sessions with MDA’s involved in the processes and the parties to the concession Agreement i.e. NPA as lessor, BPE as confirming party and the individual Terminal Operators.
In a letter dated 3rd March, 2022, the Federal Ministry of Transport informed the Committee that the Inter Ministerial Committee setup by the Hon. Minister of Transport have completed its assignment and submitted its report.
Meanwhile, the Nigerian Ports Authority NPA said, five (5) of the leases expired in April, May and November, 2021 respectively, and prior to expirations, in line with provisions of the terms of the Agreement Article (2.2) which states that “the parties may mutually agree to renew this Agreement for an additional period; provided that either party has notified the other party in writing of its desire to renew this Agreement not less than five (5) or three (3) years as the case maybe to the final year anniversary of the effective date”, parties indicated their interest and it has completed the processes and forwarded same to the Hon. Minister for approval in 10th June 2020 and the Minister approved the request for renewal in 17thDecember, 2020, but directed that the renewal process should be driven by an Inter-Ministerial Committee which has equally concluded its assignment and submitted its report to the Hon. Minister but the Supplemental Agreements for the renewal are yet to be executed.
The Committee is worried that without a substantive Supplemental Agreement, renewing the tenure of expired leases the Infrastructure Concessions Regulatory Authority (ICRC) concluded negotiations by parties to the concession Agreements which will usher in $10million revenue to Federal Government upon execution and an investments of about $400million in infrastructure, plants and equipment will remain elusive.
The lease tenures of the of the four terminals operators has expired in 2021 and it became necessary to tie the renewal to the terminals to their commitment for the development of the expired leases.
The the companies are : 1. ENL Consortium –Apapa Port (Terminal C & D ( $143 million )
2. Port & Cargo Handling Services — Tin Can Termimal C ($120 million)
3. Josephdam Port Services –Tin Can Terminal A ($100 million )
4. Associated Maritime Services– Warri New Port ($2.4 million)
On Thursday, last week, the Committee in a meeting presided over by the Deputy Chairman of the committee, Hon. Victor Kolade (Ondo State) met to discuss the delay in the renewal of the leases and the possible losses the Federal government the federal government may incur over same.