BPE Receives a Report on NPA

The Bureau of Public Enterprises (BPE) has received the interim report of the Implementation Committee on the Disposal of Moveable Assets of Nigeria Ports Authority (NPA), while the operating license of Nigeria Unity Line (NUL) as a national carrier line has been re-validated by the Nigerian Maritime Administration and Safety Agency (NIMASA).

The interim report of the Implementation Committee on the Disposal of Moveable Assets of NPA was submitted to Ms. Bolanle Onagoruwa, the Director General of the BPE.

Presenting the report, the Chairman of the Committee, Mr. Sonny C. Nwobi, who was represented by Mr. M. D. Bolangu, General Manager (Western Zone) of NPA, requested that the Bureau approves the implementation of the recommendations.

In her welcome address, Onagoruwa thanked the committee for its dedication in carrying out the assignment. She told the committee that the Bureau will review the recommendations and seek approval from the National Council of Privatisation (NCP) for implementation.

BPE’s Director of Transport, Mr. Reuben G. Omotowa, pointed out that the need to address the issue of moveable assets arose immediately after most of Nigerian port terminals were concessioned in 2006. The NCP thereafter, at its 19th meeting held on December 3, 2007, resolved to take necessary steps to address the issue of moveable assets in nine locations across the country.

Pursuant to this resolve, the then Minister of Finance, Dr. Mansur Muktar, obtained approval on December 31, 2009 from the then Chairman of NCP, Dr. Goodluck Jonathan, for the disposal for moveable assets at concessioned terminals of the NPA. The purpose of the disposal, according to Omotowa, was to decongest the terminals and facilitate the growth of economic activities at the ports.

Membership of the Implementation Committee which was set up by the Bureau was drawn from Federal Ministry of Transport, Federal Ministry of Finance, NPA and the BPE.

Meanwhile, the operating license of Nigeria Unity Line (NUL) as a national carrier line has been re-validated by the Nigerian Maritime Administration and Safety Agency (NIMASA), according to the Director General of the Bureau of Public Enterprises (BPE), Ms. Bolanle Onagoruwa. Consequently, the BPE, in collaboration with NIMASA, will soon place advertisements inviting for Expressions of Interest (EOIs) from prospective investors.

The boss of the privatisation agency, who made the remarks at the Bureau’s Management Committee meeting last week, pointed out that NUL’s operating license as shipping company/agent with the Nigerian Ports Authority (NPA) has also been revalidated. In addition, all necessary papers and all outstanding annual dues with the Corporate Affairs Commission (CAC) have been updated.

She noted that in line with the reform programme of the Nigerian government, NUL has been slated for privatisation through equity sale. Onagoruwa explained that the attempt to re-advertise NUL for 100 per cent equity sale is premised on the following favourable conditions: The Nigerian Oil and Gas Industry Content Development Act 2010 (Local Content Act) makes it mandatory for the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) and other key players in the oil and gas transportation business to patronise indigenous companies; the renewed NUL license which confers on it the status of a national carrier with several rights and privileges; Opportunities created by the Cabotage Act 2003; the existence of NIMASA, as technical regulator in the maritime sector as well as the attractive provisions of its law; and the absence of a national shipping line and the renewed interest of investors in acquiring NUL.

NUL is a public limited liability company wholly owned by the Nigerian government through NIMASA. It was incorporated on 23rd January, 1995 and commenced operations in July 1996.

The firm was incorporated to serve as a model shipping line for the Nigerian maritime industry and to optimally exploit the extensive opportunities for the bulk carriage of dry and wet cargo (including the affreighment of crude oil and refined petroleum products.)

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