Mohammed Bello-Koko, acting managing director of the Nigerian Ports Authority, has raised the alarm on the state of Nigeria’s port infrastructure, citing the decay in Tin Can Island, Onne, Delta, and Calabar ports.
In a statement by the NPA’s General Manager, Corporate and Strategic Communications, attributed to Bello-Koko, he called for infrastructural funding at the first retreat for the constituted board of directors of NPA.
Bello-Koko noted that Francophone African countries were funding dredging of their ports, whereas, in Nigeria, the NPA is responsible for funding the ports which he said puts ‘a lot of strain on our resources and capacity to invest in critical port infrastructure.’
Bello-Koko said, “We are facing decaying port infrastructure, for example, sections of the quay aprons or walls at Tin Can Island Port, Onne, Delta, and Calabar ports are collapsing and require huge funds to repair them.
“NPA has a lot of high value landed properties in Onne, Snake Island, and Takwa Bay that are designated free trade zones and mostly allocated, but there is a poor arterial road network and other infrastructure to make them attractive for private investments which would bring good revenue to the Authority and Federal Government.”
He disclosed that the NPA is in talks with various multilateral institutions including the French Development Agency, African Development Bank, European Investment Bank, and Sanlam Infraworks (a Central Bank of Nigeria approved fund manager for InfraCorp) to access long term low-interest credit for port infrastructure upgrades and expansion.