NASS TO REVIEW CONCESSION AGREEMENT
By Godfrey Bivbere
NATIONAL Assembly is set to review the concession agreement of the nation's port terminals to ensure that all the goals drawn up at the initial stages are met.
Disclosing this to Vanguard in Houston, Texas, the Deputy Chairman of the Senate Committee on Marine Transport, Akpor Pius Ewherido, said the committee was taking a second look at the concession agreement.
Ewherido explained that both the Federal Government and the concessionaires have not fully met all the terms of the agreement and as a result, the exercise has not fully achieved the goals.
The senator who admitted that despite the above mentioned lapses, there has been a measure of success, also disclosed that the Senate Committee on Trade and Investment was looking at the concession agreement.
He said: 'We are taking a second look at the concession agreement. I think the Trade and Investment committee is also doing so.'
Ewherido blamed the lapses in the concession agreement on the absence of a regulatory as specified by the law, stressing that until there is a body to effectively regulate and implement it, the situation will remain as it is.
The senator who commended the management of Nigerian Ports Authority, NPA; the body that signed on behalf of government for its efforts so far, he explained that there are some areas where the Authority has not meet up with its side of the agreement.
Ewhewrido pointed out those areas like common user facilities and dredging of the channel as areas where the NPA needed to improve.
He, however, said that there NPA has some constraint which is making it difficult for them to effectively perform their end of the agreement.
On the side of the concessions, he noted that while some are doing very well, others are still lagging behind. He, however, frowned at the fact that the concession agreement has resulted in the employment of so many people that were retired from the NPA as was promised during the signing of the agreement.
In his words: 'I don't believe that it should be left the way it is, of course there has been improvement but the jobs which were promised are not as many as claimed then.'
Speaking on the participation of the Nigerian contingent to the Offshore Technology Conference, OTC, Ewherido said that it is gathering the best of the best in terms of technology and professionals in the oil and gas sector and therefore; there is a lot to take back home from the conference.