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Business News

Terminal closure: BUA clears air on NPA’s claims 

Terminal closure: BUA clears air on NPA’s claims 

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BUA group, NPA Decommissioning of Port Harcourt Terminal: We'll vigorously defend, protect our rights - BUA Group, NPA and BUA Group dispute to affect 1000 jobs, $500,000 monthly revenue, Terminal closure: BUA clears air on NPA’s claims , Forbes 2020 world’s richest rankings released: Only 4 Nigerians make exclusive billionaires list, BUA reacts to CACOVID, says it took initiative as members failed to reach an agreement

BUA Ports and Terminal has described the recent claim of the Nigerian Port Authority (NPA) that it closed the company’s terminal in Port Harcourt, Rivers State, for health and safety reasons, as misleading and inaccurate 

Disputing NPA’s claim in a statement issued by the company, BUA disclosed that the port authority failed to carry out any of its own obligations under the Lease Agreement, which are necessary and required for any meaningful reconstruction to take place and it had failed to respond to it’s several requests for approval to perform remedial action on the berth.

According to the statement, BUA had contacted a renowned construction company to effect the needed repairs at the terminal and thereafter paid the sum of 4.7 million euros but the approval letters sent to the NPA for work to begin were without reply, thereby making any construction work impossible.

[READ MORE: NPA reacts to BUA Group’s accusation on port terminal shutdown]

It said, “The failure of the NPA to provide security for the terminal as required in the lease agreement has given way for nefarious activities of hoodlums and vandals that over a period of time cut the pipes and steel beams of the berths thereby affecting their stability and consequently making remedial works imperative. 

“It is gratifying to note that the MD of the NPA admitted issuing a Notice of Termination but interestingly omitted to acknowledge that NPA failed to abide with the provisions of the Lease Agreement, especially the dispute resolution provisions. The Agreement provides that certain steps must be taken where there is a dispute, which if cannot be resolved amicably, should be referred to arbitration. 

“As a responsible corporate citizen, which appreciates the coercive powers of the NPA as an agency of Government, BUA approached the Federal High Court for the protection of its rights and investments. The court dutifully granted an injunction restraining the NPA from giving effect to the Notice of Termination and also ordered parties to proceed to arbitration in accordance with the terms of the Agreement.  In essence, NPA was enjoined to await the outcome of the arbitration proceedings.”  

Rather than wait for the outcome of the arbitration proceedings, BUA alleged that NPA itself had initiated and issued a letter decommissioning the terminals, which is tantamount to an effective termination of the Agreement.

Grey Area: Disputing BUA’s claim in a letter signed by Jatto Adams, the General Manager, Corporate and Strategic Communications of NPA, the port authority stated that its action didn’t disobey the court order which restrained NPA from terminating the lease even though it had shutdown BUA’s terminal. NPA said the terminal was closed over a year after it received the court order.

The Nigerian Ports Authority (NPA) has reacted to accusations of breaching a court order in the case involving BUA Ports and Terminals Limited, a subsidiary of BUA Group. The port authority and the company have been in a dispute over a port terminal in Port Harcourt.

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NPA had decommissioned the whole concession arrangement which BUA Group got in 2006, claiming that the unsafe operational environment of the jetty (BUA concession area) needed urgent repairs and reconstruction.

But the General Manager, BUA Ports and Terminals Limited, Mohammed Ibrahim, said the withdrawal of license by the Managing Director of NPA, Hadiza Bala-Usman was against the requirement of global judicial/dispute resolution and undermined the NPA concession agreements.

Ibrahim argued that BUA had on several occasions sought approval from NPA to perform remedial works on the terminal. However, the NPA didn’t grant the approval, yet it shut down the terminal or decommissioned the concession.

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[READ ALSO: NPA and BUA Group dispute to affect 1000 jobs, $500,000 monthly revenue]

But according to NPA’s recent reaction, the port authority said the terminal had been closed before BUA wrote to NPA regarding the state of the quay walls at the terminal. NPA said that was when BUA informed it that the terminal was close to collapsing.

BUA’s lease is meant to last for 20-years before the need for renewal but the company has only been in charge for 13-years. Why shut down the terminal if the company in charge is willing to repair and still has 7-years to operate at the terminal. Does the NPA intend to repair the terminal on behalf of BUA and hand it back to BUA.

 

Abiola has spent about 14 years in journalism. His career has covered some top local print media like TELL Magazine, Broad Street Journal, The Point Newspaper.The Bloomberg MEI alumni has interviewed some of the most influential figures of the IMF, G-20 Summit, Pre-G20 Central Bank Governors and Finance Ministers, Critical Communication World Conference.The multiple award winner is variously trained in business and markets journalism at Lagos Business School, and Pan-Atlantic University. You may contact him via email - [email protected]

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Business News

DPR says it has accurate data of country’s crude production volume

Head, Public Affairs of DPR, Mr Paul Osu, said every litre of crude produced in the country was adequately captured during the process of extraction.

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Nigerian oil cargo

The Department of Petroleum Resources (DPR) has said that the agency has an accurate record of the crude oil produced in the country.

This is in reaction to claims that the exact volume of crude oil produced in the country has remained unknown.

While making this disclosure in a statement in Lagos, the Head, Public Affairs of DPR, Mr Paul Osu, said every litre of crude produced in the country was adequately captured during the process of extraction.

What the Head, Public Affairs of DPR is saying

Osu said DPR has the responsibility of monitoring and accounting for crude oil production which is the basis for determining the government’s revenue through royalty payments by operators for sustainable development.

He said: “As a further step to boosting crude accounting process from production to export, DPR recently launched the National Production Monitoring System (NPMS).

NPMS is an online platform for direct and independent acquisition of production data from oil and gas facilities in Nigeria.

NPMS as an electronic data transmission tool at production and export terminals is designed to better predict the performance of oil and gas reservoirs and better production forecasting.”

Osu noted that the NPMS tool enables DPR to exercise surveillance, perform production monitoring and data analysis for utilisation and forecasting.

He said DPR as a business enabler and opportunity house would continue to develop robust and strategic initiatives to ensure timely and accurate payment of rents, royalties and other revenues due to the government.

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In case you missed it

  • It can be recalled that the Executive Secretary of the Nigeria Extractive Industries Transparency Initiative (NEITI), Orji Ogbonnaya-Orji, on Thursday said the exact volume of crude oil produced in Nigeria, especially at the deep offshore fields, is not known by anyone.
  • He said the exact volume of crude oil produced in Nigeria had remained unknown because of the absence of meters at wellheads and the lack of capacity to monitor deep offshore fields.

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Business

Sanwo-Olu flags off Red line rail project as Lagos compensates property owners

The 37-km Rail Mass Transit Red Line will traverse from Agbado to Marina, moving over 1 million commuters daily.

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FG inks $3.9 billion deal with Chinese firm for construction projects

The Lagos State Governor, Babajide Sanwo-Olu, has flagged off the construction of the 37-km Rail Mass Transit Red Line, which will traverse from Agbado to Marina, moving over 1 million commuters daily.

This is as the state started the compensation of identified project-affected persons of the Lagos Rail Mass Transit Red Line project with the Governor handing over cheques to displaced property owners who were affected by the right-of-way.

The groundbreaking ceremony which took place at the Ikeja Train Station on Thursday was witnessed by the Minister of Transportation, Rotimi Amaechi, who was represented by the Director-General of the Nigerian Maritime and Safety Agency (NIMASA), Dr Bashir Jamoh, and the Deputy Governor of Lagos State, Dr Obafemi Hamzat.

What the Lagos State Governor is saying

Sanwo-Olu said the Red Line project which is to be fully operational in the last quarter of 2022 with 8 train stations from Agbado to Oyingbo, is another initiative of his administration to deliver enduring infrastructure for the transport system and make Lagos a competitive megacity.

The Governor said: “Today’s flag-off of the construction of infrastructure for the standard gauge Red Line is another promise kept and it demonstrates, in practical terms, our commitment to achieve the objectives of traffic management and transportation pillar in our development agenda. This is because we recognise the role which an efficient transportation system plays in enhancing people’s quality of life and as a major driver of socio-economic development.

The State’s Strategic Transport Master Plan, which encompasses a number of projects that are germane to achieving our vision for a Greater Lagos, is founded on imperatives that seek to increase transport choices for all users and make the transit system integrated, attractive, convenient, affordable and accessible.

Since efficient transportation is the backbone of any economy, we are happy to be committing this investment in our transport infrastructure, so that our people can meet their daily targets and aspirations. This all-important transport project we are all gathered to witness today represents a major step in this direction.

Sanwo-Olu said that in order to facilitate smooth operations of the Red Line, the State Government would be constructing ancillary infrastructure, including 6 overpasses at strategic level crossing points along the rail corridor to eliminate interactions between the rail system, vehicular and pedestrian traffic.

The overpasses will provide grade-separated crossings that will enhance safety for the rail system and road users.

He said: “The unique characteristics of the Red Line is its integration with the Ikeja Bus Terminal, Oshodi–Abule Egba Bus Rapid Transit (BRT) lane, the future Orange Line, which goes from Ikeja to Agbowa, and the General Aviation Terminal One of the Murtala Muhammed International Airport through a skywalk.

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Another unique feature of the Red Line is that all the stations have elevated concourses with either at grade island or side platforms for easy boarding and alighting of passengers. The Red Line also integrates with our Bus Terminals at Oyingbo, Yaba, Oshodi, Ikeja and Iju, giving modal options to our people in their daily commute, either for business or leisure.”

The Governor presented cheques of different amounts as compensation to 25 residents whose properties, businesses and accommodation will be affected by the project. Over 263 properties are affected with many of the property owners and tenants smiling as they got their cheques.

What you should know

  • The Red Line is part of the state government’s vision of an integrated multimodal transportation system contained in the State’s Strategic Transport Master Plan (STMP), developed by LAMATA, which aims ultimately to birth a world-class transportation network that will support the state’s profile, as the economic capital of Nigeria and Africa.
  • It is to raise mass transportation capacity in the State, complementing the Blue Line that traverses from Okokomaiko to Marina.
  • The rail corridor will be constructed in three phases. The first phase (Agbado-Iddo), which will be completed in 24 months, will be sharing the track with the Federal Government’s Lagos-Ibadan Railway Modernisation Project up to Ebute – Metta and will have its dedicated track from Ebute – Metta to Oyingbo and reduce travel time from about two and a half hours to just 35 minutes.

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