The Federal Government and a core investor, Ocean & Cargo Terminal Services Limited, on Tuesday, signed a concession agreement for Terminal B of Warri Old Port.
This followed the National Council on Privatisation’s approval of the technical and commercial bid of $100.78m submitted by Ocean & Cargo Terminal Services Limited on June 18, 2018.
Director-General of the Bureau of Public Enterprises, Mr Alex Okoh, said that the objective of the Federal Government in port concession was to increase efficiency in the country’s ports and improve service delivery.
He added that the process was also intended to modernise port development, reduce the cost of shipping and clearing goods at the ports and relieve the government of the burden of financing the sector.
The BPE boss signed the document on behalf of the government while the Chairman of Ocean and Cargo Terminal Services, Dr Taiwo Afolabi, signed on behalf of the company.
Okoh said, “The ports concession programme of the Federal Government under the supervision of the BPE started in 2005 and culminated in the concession of over 23 terminals to private operators.
“In fact, the concession of the seaports in Nigeria represents one of the success stories of the privatisation and commercialisation programme in Nigeria.
“The concessionaire is expected to focus on these objectives as they perform their business. The government expects nothing less than strict adherence to the terms of the concession agreement from the concessionaire.”
“Consequently, the pursuit of your business objectives must be tailored in a way that will also assist in the realisation of these objectives,” he told the concessionaire.
The Federal Government had upgraded the facilities of Terminal B of the Old Warri Port. The upgrading included the construction of a new quay wall and apron equipped with requisite facilities for the berthing of vessels.
Okoh said upon completion of the rehabilitation and reconstruction works, there was a need to concession the terminal to a private operator who would be responsible for the operation of the terminal and carrying out further development of its facilities in line with the Ports Concession Programme.
Following the approval of the NCP, advertisements inviting Expressions of Interest from prospective concessionaires for the concession of the terminal were placed in national dailies on June 23, 2014.
At the closing of the submission, 13 Expressions of Interest were harvested and subsequently evaluated.
After the evaluation, seven firms achieved the minimum qualification mark and were prequalified for the issuance of Requests of Proposals and Information Memorandum.
However, the issuance of Request for Proposals to respective concessionaires was delayed for two years.