The lease period of the concession of Tin Can Island Port, Lagos has been extended by five years by the Federal Government.
The Director General of the Bureau of Public Enterprise (BPE), Mr. Benjamin Dikki disclosed the extension yesterday shortly after a meeting of the National Council on Privatisation (NCP) presided over by Vice President Namadi Sambo.
The two concessionaires are Joseph Dam Port Services Nigeria Ltd and Five Star Logistics.
The concessionaire based the seeking of the extension on the ground that when the lease was granted to it, there was a court case that restrained Joseph Dam from taking over and conducting its obligations of the concessioned contract.
“And the case dragged on for over four years. So Council considered the application and reviewed the issues and granted an extension of the lease period by five years for Joseph Dam Port Services Ltd in respect of Tin Can Island Ports Lagos” he said.
On the part of Five Star Logistics, the DG hinted that Council reviewed the issues concerning the firm which is handling the concession of the rural terminals on Tin Can Island and discovered that there were other obligations that government was committed, including dredging of the ports, mending of some of the collapsed parts of the ports which had not been carried out, which to a large extent restricted the area of operation of the concessionaire.
“The National Council of Privatisation reviewed the matter holistically and has graciously granted a five-year extension to Five Star Logistics in respect of the rural terminals in Tin Can Island”, the DG said.
According to Dikki, the Council “should move immediately with the relevant MDAs to look into all kinds of issues that have come up and settle not just the power sector issues that are outstanding but other sectors that are outstanding.”
On power, he said NCP observed that while almost all payment issues had been completed, there were residual issues that needed verification and capturing of biometrics, “particularly with pensioners of PHCN workers who were not part of the immediate privatisation exercise but are genuine PHCN workers who have not been paid their pensions.
“BPE reported along with the technical committee which I chair that we are now in the process of doing biometric capture? of any PHCN worker who even though was not recently served but in the past who has not been paid his pensions. We have captured about 50 per cent of them and after a meeting with the National Union of Pensioners by the BPE.
“It was reported that we are now going to work with National Union of Pensioners to make sure that their pension allowance is paid after verification and they have been captured.”
He further explained that their money is safely with the Central Bank with a view to ?ensuring that they are paid after the verification exercise.
In another development, permanent secretary in the Ministry of Power, Mr. Godknows Ighali noted that power supply in the country was not evenly distributed.
“In some parts of the country, we have seen some remarkable improvements, in other places we have seen power supply and availability go down.
“Three reasons are responsible for this, first, the new owners have taken over and we have seen their investment plans, we have seen their spirited efforts which they are doing to bring in money to expand, modernise and to improve,” he said.