By Etuka Sunday
Ocean and Cargo Terminal Services Limited has emerged the preferred bidder for the concessioning of Terminal B Warri Old Port in Delta State.
At the financial bids opening for the Port Terminal held by the Bureau of Public Enterprises (BPE) in Abuja,Ocean and Cargo offered the sum of USA $25, 510,000.64 to emerge the preferred Concessionaire after its rival-Ecomarine Consortium- was disqualified for improper submission of its bidding documents.
Consequently, Ecomarine’s bid price was not announced. However, Ocean and Cargo Terminal Services Limited emergence is subject to the approval of the National Council on Privatisation (NCP).
The event which was chaired by Alhaji M. K Ahmed,Chiarman of the Technical Committee of the National Council on Privatisation (NCP was attended by many stakeholders, including the Nigerian Ports Authority (NPA) which was represented by Dr. Sokonte Davies (Executive Director, Marine Operations) who stood in for the Managing Director, Ms. Hadiza Bala Usman.
Ecomarine had scored 87.84% and Ocean and Cargo Terminal Services Limited, 82.70% in the evaluation of the technical proposals of the prospective bidders.
Speaking at the occasion, Director General of the Bureau of Public Enterprises (BPE), Mr. Alex A. Okoh, who was represented by the Director, Transport Department, Mallam Aliyu Maigari, noted that modest achievements have been recorded at the ports since the port concession programme commenced in 2005, hence the Government’s determination to concession the Terminal ‘B’ Warri Old Port.
He said the objectives of the port concession are to, among others: Increase the efficiency of ports operations; Reduce cost of doing business for ports users; Reduce dependence on the treasury for support to an otherwise economically viable ports sector; and Boost economic activity, increase the GDP and accelerate development to make the Nigerian ports the hub of international freights in west and Central Africa.
The Head, Public Communications, Amina Tukur Othman in a statement quoted Okoh to have maintained that Government expects much from the preferred bidder for the Terminal “B” Warri Old Port and urged it to focus on the objectives of the port reforms as it goes about its businesses.
He commended the bidders who by their participation in the privatisation programme up to the point of the financial bids opening have demonstrated unalloyed faith in the economic reform programme of the present administration; and by extension, strengthened the Bureau’s resolve to see the bidding process to its conclusion.
The Director General apologised to the bidders for the unduly and unintended long process it took to get to the stage of the financial bid opening and noted that the terminal has a new quay wall, fenders and apron with a backup space where the concessionaire will develop other infrastructural facilities for efficient port operations.
He thanked all the investors that expressed interest in the Terminal ‘B’ Warri Old Port for their belief and interest in the concession process and pledged to work with the preferred bidder to help create a more broad-based, private sector-led and a prosperous Nigeria.
In his speech, the Chairman of the occasion and Chairman,Technical Committee (TC) of the National Council on Privatisation, Alhaji M. K Ahmed, said that the reform and restructuring of the Transport Sector which commenced in 2000, led to the concession of 26 ports terminals out of the 28 in 2006.
He said the NCP advertised for Expressions of Interest (EOIs) from prospective concessionaires interested in taking over and managing Terminal B Warri Old port on June 23, 2014 and at the deadline for the submission of EOIs, 13 applications were received, out of which seven were pre- qualified for the issuance of bidding documents.
It would be recalled that Associated Maritime Services Limited (AMS) was the concessionaire that won the Warri Old Port Terminal B in 2006. However,when AMS took over the terminal in 2007, it could not operate the facility because the entire terminal was in total disuse. The quay wall had collapsed; the stacking/operation areas caved in and were unable to withstand any crane. All the warehouses and stalls were in bad state.
On 25th April, 2008, NPA temporarily relocated AMS to Warri New Port to enable it undertake the necessary repairs, rehabilitation and reconstruction of the facilities at the terminal. However, this did not materialise as NPA did not have the necessary funds. Consequently, AMS applied to NPA to convert its stay at the new terminal to a permanent one. BPE and NPA jointly considered the application and with the approval of the NCP, AMS was relocated to the New Warri Terminal ‘A’ to complete the remaining period of its 10 – year concession.