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NPA secures $700m loan for Lagos ports rehabilitation

NPA secures $700m loan for Lagos ports rehabilitation
April 18
08:26 2024

The Nigerian Ports Authority (NPA) has secured a $700 million facility agreement for the rehabilitation of the Apapa and Tin-Can Island ports in Lagos.

The NPA had announced the $1.1 billion port rehabilitation project in December.

Speaking during the signing of mandate letter with Citibank Nigeria in Lagos, on Wednesday, Mohammed Bello-Koko, the managing director of the NPA, said the agency has negotiated a loan of $700million from the bank to be funded by the UK Export Finance (UKEF), an export credit agency, for the project.

Bello-Koko said the NPA has also opened a discussion with another funding agency to secure financing for upgrading of the eastern ports including Calabar, Warri, Onne and Rivers Ports as well as the reconstruction of Escravos breakwater.

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Bello-Koko said the mandate letter will be sent to the Debt Management Office for final review and approval.

The NPA managing director said the funds are ready and the reconstruction of the Lagos ports will start as soon as the NPA perfects plans to sign the mandate letter for the upgrading of the eastern ports in about a month.

“In the last two years, NPA has realised the need for us to rehabilitate and reconstruct the ports all over the country. We have been having discussions with multilateral funding agencies who have sent various proposals that we have reviewed,” Bello-Koko said.

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“What we did is to further discussion with interested parties and we realised it is better to separate the ports in Lagos from the ports in the East, and we are in discussion with another funding agencies to fund the construction of ports outside Lagos.”

He said the Citibank facility is the cheapest for Nigeria because it came with affordable interest rates.

He commended Adegboyega Oyetola, the minister of marine and blue economy, for assisting the NPA to achieve its key performance indicators

“I want to specially thank the minister for his support and passion for the country. Port efficiency is not about automation, which we have already begun, it’s also about the physical infrastructure, which must be in place and that’s why we are automating. Automation will naturally bring efficiency, increase revenue and plug leakages,” the NPA MD said.

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Bello-Koko added that the NPA is putting port community system in place, which is a platform that will improve trade facilitation.

“Currently in Nigeria, importers or exporters fill up to 30 to 40 forms for one transaction but the Port Community System will reduce the numbers of forms, human interference and ensure speedy clearance process in or out of the country,” he added

Speaking earlier, Ireti Samuel-Ogbu, the managing director of Citibank Nigeria Limited, said the bank is committed to supporting NPA and the federal government in bridging infrastructure gap.

“We are absolutely delighted to be partnering with NPA especially being the collection bank for foreign and local currency port levies. Now, supporting this strategic initiative through export credit financing to upgrade port infrastructure in Tin-Can and Lagos Ports is commendable. However, we are committed in supporting NPA and the Nigerian Government in all its endeavours especially in the infrastructure space,” Samuel-Ogbu said.

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“Since NPA generates its own foreign revenue, we will be able to support foreign facility from our resources because this project is very strategic and an important project for NPA and the country at large.

“We are looking forward to this project and we thank NPA for giving us this opportunity and hope to bring this into fruition as soon as possible.”

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