Port concession: BPE scores APM Terminals high as company’s investment hits N126bn
The Bureau of Public Enterprises (BPE) has expressed satisfaction with the level of compliance with the post-acquisition plan by APM Terminals and other terminal operators at the Lagos Port Complex, Apapa.
APM Terminals Apapa, which took over the concession at Lagos’ Apapa Container Terminal in 2006, has invested a total of USD350 million to develop infrastructure, acquire sophisticated cargo handling equipment, modernisation of the terminal, IT hardware and software systems, and additional capacity.
The investment has resulted in significant improvements in productivity, with zero waiting times for vessel berthing and a doubling of container volume.
In 2016, the leading global terminal operator acquired four additional (Rubber Tyre Gantry cranes (RTGs), increasing the total to 14, which is the highest by any port operator in Nigeria.
In 2013, the terminal restored a regular rail service, running three times per week to the inland cities of Kaduna, 730km (455 miles) and Kano, 960km (600 miles).
In 2014, the terminal was named the “Most Environmentally Conscious Port Operator at the Lagos Port Complex” by the Nigerian Port Authority’s Environment Department of the Health, Safety and Environment Division. It has since maintained these high standards.
In addition to meeting international security requirements outlined by the International Ships and Ports Facility Security Code (ISPS Code), and APM Terminals global safety requirements, the terminal operates a truck safety program that ensures that designated, physically protected areas are provided for drivers conducting operational activities outside of their truck cabs, as well as safety instructions specific to each facility’s layout and traffic flow. For training crane operators, the terminals use the most advanced crane simulator on the African continent.
BPE’s Director in charge of Post Privatisation Department, Yusuf Adamu, after monitoring the activities of the terminal operators at the Lagos Port Complex, Apapa, recently said the investments and revenue contribution by the port concessionaires to the government in the last 13 years has been massive.
He said, “Before the concession, this place was like a market, with uncontrolled movements of people leading to rampant thievery. Some of the quay areas you see now were taken up as residential places until after the concession.
“You can see the level of investments and expansion made by the concessionaires which is in millions of dollars, and these facilities will eventually revert to the government at the end of the agreed period. This is outside their regular throughput and annual lease fees, which they have never defaulted since takeover in 2006, which is in millions of dollars.
“Meanwhile, before concession, these agencies that are now contributing revenue and employment generation were some of the drain pipes of the national treasury.”
APM Terminals and other operators at the Apapa port had earlier briefed the BPE team on their investments in line with the Post-Acquisition Plan and equally took them round for verification and clarification of issues.
The Managing Director of APM Terminals Apapa, Martin Jacob, speaking recently after the BPE visit, assured of the company’s commitment to supporting the growth of the Nigerian economy. He also expressed support for the Federal Government’s non-oil export drive.