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NASS threaten to cancel nine concession agreements

by Business News Report

Committees of the Senate and House of Representatives have jointly threatened to cancel the concession extension granted nine terminal operators for violation of an already existing contract with the government and to arrest immediate past Managing Director of the Nigeria Ports Authority, Malam Habib Abdullahi, for lying.
The two committees are the Senate Committee on Marine Transport and the House of Representative Committee on Ports, Harbours and Waterways.
Speaking that at the joint Committee meeting with concessionaires, Chairman of the House of Representatives Committee on Ports, Harbours and Waterways Dr. Patrick Asadu lamented that the fact Habib Abdullahi lied to the Committee when he was confronted with the alleged concession extension. Some members of the Committees were of the opinion that the concession extension granted the concessionaires did not follow due process.
“We do not know why the former Managing Director lied to us to cover up this illegality.
I have deep concerns over the issue of concession extension; this Committee has a mandate to the people of Nigeria. Unfortunately, we called your predecessor and put on oat and he swore that there was no extension before the Committee. I am very very bitter about this.

“You can bring in a new rule at the middle of a game, if NPA agrees with the extension, this committee will not agree. This Committee will follow up this issue of concession extension, and will not even if NPA agrees with it, then they will have to deal with us”. Asadu said. The Joint Committee was particularly irked at the fact that the current concession agreements had not ended before new extensions were granted.
The Committee also discovered that the concession agreements that were entered into by terminal operators and NPA have not been reviewed in the last ten years even when the agreement says that it should be reviewed every two years.
Verifying the extension of concession, Managing Director of the NPA, Ms Hadiza Bala Usman told the joint Committee that there was indeed extension granted to some concessionaires for various reasons. Usman said that some of the extensions were granted due to NPA’s inability to hand over some of the land that were concessioned to the operators. She also said that some of these extensions were granted between 2011 and 2015. She however suggested a holistic concession extension adding that that it was not enough to grant extensions without reviewing the financing models.

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