By G9ija

The acting managing director of the Nigerian Ports Authority (NPA), Mohammed Bello-Koko, says Tin Can Island, Onne, Delta, and Calabar ports infrastructure are collapsing and require funds for repair.

Olaseni Alakija, NPA general manager, corporate and strategic communications, in a statement on Sunday, said Bello-Koko expressed the funding needs at the first retreat for the constituted board of directors of NPA.

According to Bello-Koko, the governments of French-speaking countries in Africa fund dredging of their ports, whereas in Nigeria, “we (NPA) are responsible for funding ours which put a lot of strain on our resources and capacity to invest in critical port infrastructure.

“We are facing decaying port infrastructure, for example, sections of the quay aprons or walls at Tin Can Island Port, Onne, Delta, and Calabar ports are collapsing and require huge funds to repair them,” he said.

“With the increasing pressure to remit more revenue to the Consolidated Revenue Fund (CRF) of the Federation, it has become very difficult to have sufficient funds to attend to these decaying facilities, hence the need to explore alternative funding sources outside the traditional port service offerings.”

To address this, Bello-Koko said NPA’s management has started to explore alternative ways to boost the revenue performance of the agency.

“NPA has a lot of high value landed properties in Onne, Snake Island, and Takwa Bay that are designated free trade zones and mostly allocated but with poor arterial road network and other infrastructure to make them attractive for private investments which would bring good revenue to the Authority and Federal Government.”

He added that NPA is in discussions with multilateral financial institutions like the French Development Agency (AFD), African Development Bank (AfDB), European Investment Bank (EIB), and Sanlam Infraworks (a Central Bank of Nigeria approved fund manager for InfraCorp) to access long term low-interest credit for port infrastructure upgrades and expansion.