The Bureau of Public Enterprises (BPE) has threatened to sanction concessionaires that flout existing terms of the covenants signed with the Federal Government in the maritime industry.
Director-General of the Bureau, Mr. Alex A. Okoh, who issued the threat in Abuja on Thursday, also pledged BPE’s resolve to collaborate with the Nigerian Ports Authority (NPA) for sustained development of the sector.
Speaking when the NPA’s Managing Director, Ms. Hadiza Bala Usman visited his office, the BPE boss said aside fostering partnership between the two organizations; the warning has become imperative in order to enhance efficiency and service delivery at Nigerian ports.
Okoh said BPE would constantly liaise with NPA to ensure that concessionaires honour their terms of agreements with government while also undertaking expeditious assessment of all agreements that are due for review.
For the NPA Managing Director, Ms. Hadiza Usman, synergy between both organizations would aid a comprehensive appraisal of the ports concession agreements.
Usman, who emphasised the strategic value of the maritime sector and its enormous prospects to grow Nigeria’s economy on a sustainable basis, said inter-agency cooperation remains a sure way of harnessing existing potentials for socio-economic growth and development in the polity.
A statement by the Head, Public Communications of BPE, Chukwuma Nwokoh said that going forward, both Chief Executives reviewed the maritime industry and agreed on the framework for assessing existing ports concession agreements, even as they also discussed the infrastructural challenges at the ports and how to effectively address them.
The statement also said the duo were optimistic that the Reform Bills, especially the Ports and Harbour Bill; and National Transport Commission Bill, currently before the National Assembly, would optimize operations at the ports, noting that, when enacted, the two bills would strengthen the technical and economic regulatory framework in the maritime industry.
Nwokoh noted that the House of Representatives had last month passed the National Transport Commission Bill, adding that in the words of the Bill, its main objective is “to provide efficient economic regulatory framework for the transport sector, mechanism for monitoring compliance of government agencies, transport service providers and users in the regulated transport industry with relevant legislation and to advise government on matters relating to economic regulation of the regulated transport industry”.