Port infrastructure needs $800m

The dilapidated state of Nigerian ports could worsen as the government continues to delay securing the $800m necessary to repair infrastructure at seaports, including Tin Can Island and Apapa in Lagos, Onne in Rivers State, Escravos breakwaters in Warri Port, and Calabar Port in Cross River. About 85% of ports infrastructure is over 40 years old and requires urgent rehabilitation.

The poor condition of the ports is causing setbacks for trade facilitation and hindering economic growth and revenue generation, with shipping companies using neighbouring countries’ ports. It is also hindering the digitisation of the ports, with other countries investing in modern technological equipment that attracts cargoes bound for Nigeria and enables efficient e-cargo clearance systems.

Speaking at the International Association of Ports and Harbours (IAPH) Europe and Africa 2023 Regional meeting, the Managing Director of the Nigerian Ports Authority (NPA), Muhammed Bello-Koko, stated that $800m is needed to rehabilitate the infrastructure. The NPA will fund the project, and the loan facility will be repayable over seven years.

The NPA is negotiating with AfroExim Bank, NEXIM bank, and Engineering Construction Plus Financing (ECPF) for funding. However, AfroExim Bank has attached conditions, with one of them requiring a Sovereign Guarantee that needs clarification. Bello-Koko also confirmed that the rehabilitation would help to achieve the digitisation of all Nigerian ports.

The Minister of Transportation, Muazu Sambo, confirmed the funding delay when he visited the ports for an on-the-spot assessment last year. The government is following the procurement act to ensure that the project’s structural designs and cost are accurate and every survey is done, whether biometric or hydrological.

NPA does not have the resources required for the project, and the government must seek funding. The NPA management held a meeting with the Permanent Secretary of the Federal Ministry of Finance, Budget and National Planning to discuss the issue. The rehabilitation project could improve economic growth, revenue generation, and digitisation of ports, making them more competitive and efficient.

Pan Finance is a print journal and news website providing worldwide intelligence on finance, economics and global commerce. Known for our in-depth analysis and opinion pieces from esteemed academics and celebrated professionals; our readership consists of senior decision makers from across the globe.

Contact us