The federal government seaport concession programme has saved the nation US$8.5 billion, about N3.9 trillion. The Chairman, Seaports Terminal Operators Association of Nigeria (STOAN), Princess…
The federal government seaport concession programme has saved the nation US$8.5 billion, about N3.9 trillion.
The Chairman, Seaports Terminal Operators Association of Nigeria (STOAN), Princess Vicky Haastrup, who made this disclosure at the weekend revealed that the said amount was hitherto paid to foreign shipping lines as a congestion surcharge before the concession programme of government.
The STOAN chairman also said members of the association, who are the concessionaires, are ready to inject more funds into the port once pending concession agreements are renewed.
Haastrup said this while addressing journalists after a courtesy visit to her by the new Country Managing Director of APM Terminals Nigeria, Frederik Klinke.
She said in addition to the huge savings to the economy, terminal operators have also made significant investments running into billions of dollars at the six major seaports across the country.
She said: “The port concession programme reduced the waiting time of vessels coming into our ports from an average of 45 days before 2006 to less than three days at present. It has helped in eliminating the notorious congestion surcharge hitherto imposed on our ports by major shipping lines under the aegis of the Europe-West Africa Trade Agreement EWATA.
“The elimination of the port congestion surcharge has resulted in saving Nigeria’s trading community over US$500 million per annum. If you multiply that by the 17 years of port concession, that amounts to a savings of US$8.5 billion to date. In naira terms, that is a savings of more than N3.9 trillion to the Nigerian economy.”
Haastrup urged the federal government to speed up the process of port concession renewals to enable terminal operators to inject fresh funds into the port to further boost the competitiveness of Nigerian ports.
The Country Managing Director of APM Terminals Nigeria, Frederik Klinke, said his company has a long-term commitment to Nigeria.
He assured that APM Terminals will continue to set new standards for port operation in the country and support the federal government’s drive to diversify the economy through the promotion of non-oil export.