Nigeria’s government has approved the reconstruction of the port access roads running from Apapa port to the old toll gate in Ketu-Berger areas of Lagos. Disclosing this in Lagos during a visit to the Vanguard Newspapers, Managing Director of the Nigerian Ports Authority, NPA, Ms Hadiza Bala-Usman, said that the Federal Executive Council, FEC, has approved N72billion for the reconstruction of the port that will be completed with 24 months.
Usman also disclosed that the road project is a credit project awarded to A. G. Dangote. “The Ministry of Works has gotten approval for the full reconstruction of the Tin-Can access road all the way to the Toll gate. “It’s a N72billion project approved for Private Public Partnership, PPP, with A.G. Dangote Group which is a tax credit project. “It was approved about four to five weeks ago, we have met with the Lagos Controller of works last week Thursday to start up preliminary discussions on how we can reconstruct that road in an efficient manner meaning, where will diversions be, where will the construction start from, how would we manage the traffic, what are the attendant issues that will arise. “I have spoken to Dangote and Minister of Works. “The Federal Executive Council, FEC, has approved, let us not wait until we sign an agreement, let us see how much we can push and when we can start.” Meanwhile, the Management of the Nigerian Ports Authority, NPA, has commenced the process of securing funds from the China Export Import Bank (China EXIM Bank) for the purpose of rehabilitating ageing facilities at the Nigerian sea ports. Disclosing this during a curtsey visit to Vanguard Newspaper in Lagos yesterday, Managing Director of the Authority, Ms Hadeza Bala Usman, said a formal proposal for this is at the Ministry of Transportation. Specifically she said China Harbour Engineering Company Limited offered to facilitate the process of securing the loan from the China EXIM to fund the rehabilitation of some major facilities at the ports. She indicated that the loan would be cost effective, coming at a single digit interest rate. Noting the dilapidated state of some facilities at the ports, Bala-Usman explained that the management is aware of the ports’ berths that are in a bad state, adding that part of the loans will be channelled to rehabilitation of these berths. She stated: “We have actually made a proposal to the Minister of Transportation to allow us get a loan from China EXIM Bank.” She also explained that the issue of budgetary cycle has hampered infrastructural re-development at the ports adding that but for the involvement of private sector under a public-private partnership, PPP, arrangement the Wharf Road would have been worse than it is now, and probably without effective solution for a long time. She explained that the usual budgetary process and fiscal cycle would have delayed delivery of the road and similar infrastructure requiring huge amounts of money since they would be funded over several fiscal years’ budgetary provisions, a situation that usually leave many of such projects abandoned due to funding gaps and cost variations over time. In her words: “There are certain berths at the ports that are really in a bad state, we have budgeted for some of them in 2018. “We have actually made submissions to the ministry of transportation to get a loan from China. China Harbour made a proposal to us that they can get China EXIM Bank to give us a loan at single digit to do a lot of all of these, which includes the berth that we are talking about because we are unable to fully budget for them and do them in totality but know well that we are going to fix it. “We actually engage proper construction companies to repair our quays, our jetties where it is required. But the full construction that is needed is something that is huge, the amount is quite large we are seeking to have this loan that will enable us do what is required.”