The president of the Senior Staff Association of Communication, Transportation and Corporation (SSACTAC), Nigerian Ports Authority (NPA) branch, Comrade Benson Adegbeyeni, has asked the managing director (MD) of NPA, Ms Hadiza Bala Usman, to cancel the concession of the vessel towage service to third parties entered into by the previous management of the agency.
He said the cancellation of the contract is expedient because the agency is losing huge amounts of revenue by outsourcing a core function of the agency’s responsibility that it had a capacity to do to a third party.
In an exclusive chat with LEADERSHIP Friday, the labour leader alleged that the towage service was concessioned to a former MD of the agency who is, however, using the NPA’s personnel and equipment to carry out the activities thereby short changing the agency.
He said that the tug boats and the Emergency Towage Vessels (ETVs) deployed by the contractors are owned and maintained by the NPA while also maintaining pilot quarters.
“They are using the NPA personnel and equipment and yet charging the authority high and paying it less. The equipment they are using belong to the NPA which fixes it. The agency is running at a loss,” Adegbeyeni said.
The labour leader said that harbour management is a core NPA responsibility that should not be concessioned to a third party.
“Towage services are a part of the technical functions of the NPA which are resident with the authority as the landlord of the ports. Even in the port concession regime only the commercial operations of the port are billed to be concessioned. If you give towage out the NPA is gone. Even during the concession agreement, it was said that the core job of the NPA should not be concessioned because that was the only responsibility left with the NPA after the port was concessioned.
“The NPA was created in the 1950s and the issue of pilotage, towage, is run by them and they are making a lot of money from it. They want to privatise it because it the most juicy aspect of the Nigerian economy,” he said.
By BABALOLA YUSUF,