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HomeBusinessNigerian Ports Authority secures $700 mln loan from Citibank for port rehabilitation

Nigerian Ports Authority secures $700 mln loan from Citibank for port rehabilitation

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By Temi Olowu

The Nigerian Ports Authority (NPA) has successfully secured a $700 million loan from Citibank for the rehabilitation of the Apapa and Tincan Island Ports in Lagos.

This funding, facilitated by the UK Export Finance, an export credit agency, marks a significant step towards enhancing the efficiency and infrastructure of these vital ports.

Mohammed Bello-Koko, the Managing Director of the NPA, announced this milestone during the signing of the mandate letter with Citibank Nigeria in Lagos on Wednesday.

The mandate letter, upon final review and approval by the Debt Management Office, signifies the readiness of the funds and signals the imminent commencement of port reconstruction in Lagos.

Furthermore, Bello-Koko revealed that discussions are underway with another funding agency to finance the upgrading of the Eastern Ports, including Calabar, Warri, Onne, and Rivers Ports, as well as the reconstruction of the Escravos Breakwater.

He emphasized the NPA’s commitment to revitalizing ports nationwide, highlighting ongoing negotiations with multilateral funding agencies to address infrastructure needs comprehensively.

Acknowledging the importance of efficient port operations, Bello-Koko emphasized that port modernization extends beyond automation, emphasizing the significance of physical infrastructure.

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He underscored the role of automation in enhancing efficiency, increasing revenue, and curbing leakages within the port system.

In line with efforts to streamline trade facilitation, the NPA is implementing the Port Community System, a platform aimed at reducing bureaucratic bottlenecks and enhancing clearance processes.

Bello-Koko highlighted the system’s potential to significantly reduce the number of forms required for transactions, minimize human interference, and expedite clearance procedures.

Ireti Samuel-Ogbu, the Managing Director of Citibank Nigeria Limited, expressed the bank’s commitment to supporting NPA and the Federal Government in bridging the infrastructural gap.

She commended the strategic initiative to upgrade port infrastructure, emphasizing Citibank’s dedication to facilitating foreign credit financing for crucial projects.

With the NPA’s ambitious $1.1 billion ports rehabilitation program set to launch in the first quarter of 2024, Bello-Koko reaffirmed the authority’s resolve to modernize and optimize port operations.

This initiative underscores the NPA’s strategic vision to enhance maritime trade and contribute to national economic development.

(Edited by Oludare Mayowa; omayowa@globalfinancialdigest.com; Newsroom: +234 8033 964 138)

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