The Senate Committee on Privatisation and Commercialisation has ended their first oversight visit to port terminals in Lagos, singling out the management of the Apapa Bulk Terminal Limited for poor performance
| By Maureen Chigbo | Sep. 29, 2014 @ 01:00 GMT |
THE Senate Committee on Privatisation and Commercialisation is not happy with the management of the Apapa Bulk Terminal Limited, ABTL. The members of the committee expressed displeasure with the performance of the management of the company and directed it to submit a comprehensive performance history latest Thursday, September 25. The lawmakers who were on the first leg of their oversight visit to the Port Terminals in Lagos and also visited Lilypond Container Terminal Ijora-also managed by AP Moller and Apapa Bulk Terminal Limited, ABTL among others.
The Senate Committee on Privatisation and Commercialisation during the visit also pledged to ensure that the Federal Roads Maintenance Agency, FERMA, and the Lagos State Government collaborate to ease the traffic gridlock on the access roads to Apapa and Tin Can Ports, Lagos, for the benefit of Ports Operators and other users. Senator Olugbenga Obadara, chairman of the Senate committee on privatization and commercialization, made the pledge on Monday, September 15, in Lagos, while responding to complaints by Abba Isa Bukar, managing director of Greenview Development Nigeria Limited, GDNL, Operators of Terminal E, Apapa Port, that the port access roads were in deplorable condition. He said “containers are continually falling off trucks while in transit, damaging vehicles daily while commuters face untold hardship thus, requiring prompt government attention”.
The Senator said FERMA and the Lagos State Government would meet to iron out the grey areas to enable them tackle the gridlock. He noted that as the nation’s commercial hub, the Apapa and Tin Can Island Ports would not be allowed to deteriorate. The Committee embarked on the visit to know how much revenue the Terminal Operators were generating for the federal government and also to know their challenges with a view to getting legislative intervention to resolve them.
Earlier, the managing director had informed the Senators that since GDNL commenced operation in 2006, the company had embarked on massive infrastructural development and have ensured prompt payment of revenues accruable to government. He listed insecurity, poor access roads, lack of an enabling law, litigation and lack of basic facilities as the challenges facing the company and ports operations in general.
On insecurity, he lamented the frequent attacks on the Terminal from a neighboring village, Sapokoji and called for increased security patrol by security agencies along the water front. He also appealed to the legislature to urgently enact the Ports and Harbour Bill to attract more investments in the maritime sector.
At the ENL Consottium Limited, operators of Terminals C & D, Mark Walsh, general manager, emphasised that the entire workforce was 100 percent Nigerians, adding that their capacity in cargo handling and other related activities had been developed to world class standards.
Responding, Obadara, commended the giant strides made by the company. He urged the Bureau of public Enterprises, BPE, to review the concession agreements with the Terminal operators to ensure that more revenues go to the federal government.
At AP Moller Terminal, Andrew Dawes, managing director, informed the lawmakers that since takeover, the company had paid about $621,236,468 million to government as taxes, according to a press release signed by Chigbo Anicbebe, head public communications, Bureau of Public Enterprises on Tuesday, September 16.