NPA Knocks CBN Over Unfriendly Policies Driving Away Investors in Maritime Operations

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Nigerian Ports Authority (NPA)


…Approves 24 Barge Operation Licenses

By DAPO OLAWUNI

The Nigerian Ports Authority (NPA) has blamed the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) for the decline in Ship-to-Ship (STS) operations and the dearth of the ship bunkering business in Nigeria, saying that the unfriendly policies of the bank is driving away stakeholders and investors from the business.

NPA Managing Director, Muhammed Bello-Koko
NPA Managing Director, Muhammed Bello-Koko

The Managing Director of NPA, Mohammed Bello-Koko who was represented by Ibrahim Abba Umar, the Executive Director Engineering and Technical Services of NPA, made the assertions during a stakeholders engagement called by the Minister Marine and Blue Economy, Adegboyega Oyetola in Lagos on Tuesday.

Bello-Koko who was reacting to concerns raised by shipowners and maritime operators on the death of STS operations on Nigerian waters and how millions of auxiliary jobs and businesses is being lost to smaller African countries where ships go before they could bunker fuel.

On this, the NPA MD said “Concerning STS operations, we have areas mapped out in all our port locations, what is delaying is the policy of the CBN for the payment and those who are on the industry, that policy is affecting them and driving them away”

He revealed that the agency is working on dredging the Lagos channel to achieve 16.5 meter depth.
“In the future we want to create a deeper that we dont need to touch a quay construction, and it would not cost us money. Regarding the Eastern Ports, we have a technical committee, they are still working on it and very soon we would announce the required depth that we can get.
We are definitely aware of the pipes laid by NNPC and this would definitely affect what we want to do.

“We are processing acquisition of more tug boats. But as for Pilot quarters, 2 are being expected from China, and the tug boats, we are procuring more of them, and two of such are already in Liberia since 6th of May”

Governor of Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) Yemi Cardoso

Speaking on Barge licenses approval, he noted that NPA is the one chairing the Barge license committee with NIMASA and NIWA, even as he confirmed that 24 Barge Operators licenses have been approved in 2024 alone.

“This year alone, 40 applications have been received, 24 licenses were given, 15 licenses are ready for collection, 9 licenses have been collected, while others have asked to go back to NIMASA and NIWA to complete their documentation” he said

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