Stakeholders seek legal backing for 2006 Ports concessioning

Apparently worried by the legal challenges trailing its operations, Seaport Terminal Operators in Nigeria on Tuesday appealed to the National Assembly to pass into law the Ports and Harbour Bill as part of measures to  give legal backing to ports concessioning of 2006.
  Speaking at a one-day Public Hearing on Amendment of National Inland Water Ways Authority Act (Amendment Bill, 2016 and Nigerian Ports Authority Act( Amendment) Bill, 2016, representatives of the Nigerian Economic Summit Group, Ports Terminal Operators, Nigerian Shipping Association and Maritime Advocacy Group appealed  to the National Assembly to take a look at the Ports and Harbour bill with a view to separating the regulation functions of the ports from the day to day functions of the Nigerian Ports Authority.
   Speaking at the Public Hearing organized by the Senate Committee on Marine Transport in Abuja, Chief Chidi Iluogu (SAN) who represented Nigerian Ports Terminal Operators explained that  there was a need for the National Assembly to ensure that adequate frame work was in place for private sector participation and to promote efficiency based on principles of accountability, competition, fairness and transparency.
  He said: “It is a source of concern that many years after the concessioning, the laws were still being awaited.”
 Chairman of the Committee, Senator Ahmed Rufai Sani said: ”With the concessioning of the Port Terminals in 2006, the Nigerian Ports Authority  should no longer be an active participant in the day-to-day running of ports in Nigeria.”
 He explained that that the Senate will set new benchmarks and give the needed legal backing, pointing out that the proposed amendment would look towards the direction of huge revenue generation and creation of jobs.
 According to Senate President, Bukola Saraki, the country was losing huge sums of revenue through inefficiencies in the Nigerian maritime transport system.
  Represented by the Deputy Minority Whip, Senator Philip Aduda, Saraki explained that  the nation’s Marine sector was losing huge revenues.