The World bank, Africa Export Import bank and International Finance Corporation (IFC), have expressed desire to provide fund for the repair of the collapsed infrastructure at the Apapa and Tin-Can Island seaports.
The Nigerian Ports Authority (NPA), had earlier said, Tin Can Island port is collapsing, saying, more attention is needed to rehabilitate the quay walls of the port.
However, in a chat with LEADERSHIP, the managing director, Mohammed Bello-Koko, said the authority had taken a holistic review of the decaying parts of the ports and have decided that it is very important that the Tin-Can and Apapa port be rehabilitated.
He said: “we have had interest from the International Finance Corporation (IFC), World Bank, AFRI-EXIM and so on and so forth. Surprisingly, the World Bank that attracted money many years ago to construct part of Apapa, has come back again to say if you need funding, we will support. But we have written to government to allow us use a certain percentage of the money contributed to Consolidated Revenue Fund (CRF) to reconstruct these ports.”
The NPA MD also disclosed that the authority targeted year 2024 to fully automate ports processes in Nigeria.
Bello Koko noted that, a port community system would be deployed where all the major stakeholders ranging from NPA, Nigerian Shippers’ Council (NSC), Nigeria Customs Service (NCS), and shipping companies among others would log in to the system for the purpose of sharing data.
He, however, noted that the system would not in any way hinder the operations of e-Customs when deployed.
“We have realised that modern ports are all moving towards automation and automation cannot be launched haphazardly; not partial, it has to be full automation.
“Whenever we experience manual interference, it shows we have not be fully automated. Having discovered that, we wrote to the International Maritime Organisation (IMO), to help us consult.
“We are about to deploy the port community system. Port community system is an avenue that ensures all stakeholders from NPA itself, Nigerian Shippers’ Council (NSC) and shipping companies, Nigeria Customs Service – everybody logs in for the purpose of exchanging data.
“It doesn’t keep away the e-Customs system or what a view. That’s why we are able to get stakeholders to buy into it. We are ensuring that we are deploying harbor automation.
“The IMO has mandated all ports to actually deploy such IT and software by 2025. Our target is actually 2023 maximum early 2024,” Koko said.
Speaking on the controversies and allegations of extortion surrounding implementation of the electronic call-up system (named eto) for trucks operating at the Lagos ports, he said, NPA has signed an agreement with the Lagos state government to deploy mobile court at the eto call-up location around the port to prosecute persons arrested for sabotaging the system.
“What we are saying is that, stop stopping trucks unnecessarily. On the part of motorable road, we have contacted HITECH to look for a way to complete that Coconut en route mile road.
“However, we also realised that the modern ports are all moving towards automation and automation cannot be haphazard but full automation. Once there is manual interference with some of the things we do, then, you have not been fully automated,” Koko added.