The Nigerian Ports Authority (NPA) generated over N300 billion from ship dues between January, 2020 and July 2021.
Findings have shown that NPA generates over $200 million yearly from ship dues.
In an agreement signed by the NPA as far back as 2005 and obtained by The Nation, the agency was expected to generate $124.5 million from ship dues out of which over 70 per cent of the cash was expected to be saved.
NPA’s revenue, sources at the Federal Ministry of Transportation (FMoT) said, depends on the proper collection of ship dues.
Speaking with The Nation at the weekend, a senior official of the FMoT, who craved anonymity, said the cash did not include the over $1.8 million the agency generates yearly from the two hoppers it leased on a bare-boat charter working for the Lagos Channel Management (LCM).
NPA, the FMoT official said, needs to establish a state-of-art computerised billing stem that will provide an efficient collecting and monitoring procedure of the ship dues, which will led to an increase of revenue earned by the agency for the government.
It was gathered that NPA spent $250,000 monthly to manage one of its dredgers before they were leased to the joint venture company ( LCM), they entered into with Depasa Marine International.
The over $1.8million the agency is generating from the lease of the two hoppers is seen by the senior official, as a good return on investment (RoI).
According to findings, NPA has a savings of about $135million in the last 15 years on the running and maintenance of the dredgers because it is being undertaken by Depasa Marine International.
NPA has, however not lived up to expectations by not ensuring that Depasa Marine International is providing training to its workers of various callings who should have been involved in proper channel management.
“How many of the officers of the NPA are involved in the capital and maintenance dredging of the Lagos channel and port? How many of them have been trained to carry out the quarterly bathymetric surveys in Lagos channel ports?
“The management of NPA must be mandated by the Minister of Transportation, Rotimi Amaechi, to train both the senior and junior officers of the agency on maintenance and surveillance of navigational aids at the Lagos channel and ports,” the official said.
It was gathered that NPA lacks the manpower development in the following areas and the minister must ensure, has a matter of urgency that both the junior and senior workers of NPA that are below grade level 13 are trained in the following by the management of the Authority to take over the job from Depasa, moreso, that their 15 years’ agreement with NPA has expired.
Sources at the NPA also said NPA, “in accordance with the Nigerian law, is responsible for main maintaining the optimal depths in the channels’’.
“This responsibility will become a burden on the NPA. It is, therefore, advantageous for the the agency to start training its officers to ensure implementation of the NPA’s responsibilities under the law, by the time it takes over finally from Depasa.
“These responsibilities cover the maintenance of the channel depths and the navigational means that are required for the safe sailing of the ships through the entrance to the ports and within the ports,” the NPA official said.
Reviewing the rate of vessel traffic in the last 15 years, a former President, Association of the Nigerian Licensed Customs Agents (ANCLA), Prince Olayiwola Shittu, said: “It is important to realise that a sustainable and acceptable rate of growth of traffic flow will only be maintained for the next 25 years if the required nautical and safety standards are met and the channels are deepened and maintained at the required depth to ensure that the increased vessel flow will be safely managed by the NPA by the time it becomes its sole responsibility to do so, as enshrined in the law that established it.
“Our prayer is that the Federal Government will find it necessary to deploy large part of the amount being generated by the maritime agencies to boost infrastructure at port to make it efficient and globally competitive.”Follow us on social media