By Bukola Olasanmi
The Nigerian Ports Authority (NPA) Delta Ports, says it generated over $45.2 million within January and June 2019, a significant increase attributed to the improved security in the area.
This was disclosed at a stakeholders forum presided over by chairman of the NPA board of directors, Mr. Emmanuel Adesoye, at the New Port, Warri in Delta state.
In a briefing document made available to newsmen, the ports authorities stated that the rise in revenue when compared to 2018’s $35.39 million, a 28% increase, is also due to the dredging of the Escravos channel.
The brief also revealed $2,904,377 debt was recovered within the same period, leaving the total revenue collected at the sum of $48,150,644.17.
Speaking to journalists, the NPA chairman, Adesoye, whose visit was to assess the progress made by the port since November 2016, denied awareness of the sales of some of Delta Ports terminals.
The brief had reported five out of the six terminals of Delta Ports to have been conceded at different dates to respective operators for a duration of 15 years for one, and 25 years each for the others.
According to the chairman on sales of some terminals, “that was something we just found out today. It is something that was contemplated, I think maybe there was an error. I don’t think it is an issue that I want to talk about without knowing the full facts.
However, he noted that the major challenge raised during the forum is the dredging of the channel within the port to allow bigger vessels go in, but declined to give a time frame for the needed development to take place, explaining that some technicalities may cause a prolongation.
Expressing satisfaction that there has been no recorded security breach around the Warri environment in the past two years, he charged all stakeholders, including the leadership of the host communities to continue to work with security agencies to keep the peace.
“The major challenge is the issue of dredging the channels, the inner ports in the terminal here which management has already taken action. In fact, they have called for the construction of these channels, so there is no cause for alarms. The reason I can’t give a time frame is you have the procurement cycle, sometimes you cannot determine it with any degree of accuracy.
“My marching word is for them to continue to cooperate as they are doing. I am very impressed about the security situation here in Warri which is incredibly fantastic. I am really pleased because the last time we came the leadership of this community did say that they are going to make sure that there are no vandalism, no issues of security concerns raised in this place. They’ve lived true to their words and I am really impressed.
“And that is why you can see the degree of improvement that has happened here. The number of ships that are coming have increased significantly and revenues have gone up.”
On his part, the Delta Port manager, Mr. Simeon Okeke, stressed that the administration of President Muhammad Buhari is committed to “improving the rating of Nigeria with respect to the global index on the ease of doing business.”
Emphasising the importance attached to Delta Ports by the board, he mentioned achievements thus far to include remedial dredging of the Escravos channel, replacement of critical buoys, repossession of trailer park/ ejection of illegal occupant, illumination of the entire port and rehabilitation of port facilities, among others.
“Documentation and payment processes have been improved by the executive management through e-payment, e-SEN and Revenue Invoicing Management Systems (RIMS). Delta Ports Warri is fully on board as regards the implementation of these processes and this has improved our service delivery,” Okeke added.