Managing Director of the Nigeria Ports Authority, Hadiza Usman, has hinted that the agency’s priority along with the federal government is to improve its operational efficiency.
The NPA MD, revealed this on Channels Television’s breakfast programme Sunrise Daily, where she also explained that the government is working towards improving Nigeria’s business environment.
It has been 10 years since the ports went into a concession agreement and this according to Usman has indeed been successful.
However, she stressed a need to review the agreement in order to improve the ease of doing business in Nigeria.
“We are ten years into the concession agreement with the terminal operators and we believe that there’s a need to review the concession agreement.
She explained that there is a stipulated timeline for the review which should be every two years but for some reason that has not been done.
Usman however believes it is now a very appropriate time to do the review. “We have started the procedure of reviewing the respective agreements that we have across our terminals.
“The terminal operators themselves are keen to have a review because there are areas that we need to look at, 10 years post concession.
Highlighting some issues regarding the Nigerian ports, such as competitiveness and pricing, Usman stated that “the NPA is looking at the respective tariffs across the West African coast and in Africa indeed, to see how competitive our ports are”.
According to her, ports in western and central Africa are not keen to having their tariffs made public.
“I think these are some of the things we need to do as agencies of government, we need to enshrine transparency and we have started by putting our tariffs on our website.
“This is the first time the Nigerian Ports Authority is putting all our respective tariffs for the Nigerian public to see.
“We are also going to the next step of publishing them in the newspapers so that you are aware of anything the Nigerian Ports Authority is charging.
“It is important to have that transparency,” she stressed.
“The second leg to our challenge has to do with our operational competitiveness, how efficient are our ports.
“How easy is it for an entity to come into our ports, clear your goods and get out of the ports within a timely manner? Usman questioned.
However as a solution to this, she reiterated that “there are agencies of government that interface with us and we are working with them to ensure that we improve on these operational efficiencies”.
Furthermore, she revealed that one of the things that the agency is putting in place is “the national single windows project, and NPS is working on a ports community system whereby all our operations are domiciled in one single platform.
“We are working to do an interface with the Nigerian customs service and every other agency that operates in the ports, whereby you can have ease of operations.”