Executive Vice-Chairman, ENL Consortium Ltd, Dr Vicky Haastrup, has said that all expired leases of port concessionaires met the concession agreement but “there are about five concessionaires that their leases have not been renewed and these expired over a year ago. This is not really good for Nigeria because if concession are not renewed as at when they expire, it does not show confidence to international community,”. She pointed out that there were ways their achievements and performance were being measured and that had been done over the years. She added that they had what was called the continuous assessment done quarterly, half year and yearly, and the assessment had showed that they had perfected all that they were supposed to do.“This shows that we meant business, we want to change the port industry around, we need a world class level and that we have all done. “NPA can confirm that in all the report they have written. I don’t know of any terminal that has not surpassed their expectations of government as enshrined in the concession agreement.
Haastrup said this at the sideline of the Maritime and Offshore Award held in Lagos. According to her, the port concessionaires, apart from meeting the agreement, had already surpassed what they were supposed to do. Haastrup said they were grateful that the Minister of Transportation, Muazu Sambo, who has given the Nigerian Ports Authority 45 days to renew the expired leases. She said “So the renewal should not have been delayed for any reason. I am very comfortable with the new minister that has given us encouragement and has promised that the leases will be renewed within 45 days”. She expressed the hope for a new concession agreement that would be robust and actually give comfort to everyone – participants of the concession, the NPA, the concessionaires and other stakeholders in the industry.
On the National Joint Industrial Council for review of dockworkers welfare, she said that it would be due next year, as it was done every two years. We have kept to that in the last 16 years, and the leadership of the dockworkers are very happy with us; the welfare of the dockworkers is really very key to port operations and we are human. When someone like me who is a mother, wife, who understands what the dock workers are going through, we want them to be happy. “The only way to make them happy is when their welfare package is really good and it gives them a lot of encouragement to do more,” she said. Haastrup said that when the dockworkers were happy was when they would have peace in the sector, in the dock. “I want to give kudos to the leadership of the dock; after 16 years, I think we are in a better place,” she said.