Agence Française de Development (AFD), a public-sector funding agency promoted by the French Government, has expressed its readiness to support the Nigerian Ports Authority (NPA) in her quest to modernize and expand port infrastructure for a competitive and cost-efficient environment for port related businesses in Nigeria.
A high-level team from AFD and the Lagos Metropolitan Area Transport Authority (LAMATA) met with the Management of NPA on Thursday, to hold discussions regarding credit support for port infrastructure development, among other critical transport assets in the State.
Acting Managing Director, Muhammed Bello -Koko, told his guests that the Authority welcomes every support to retool and upgrade port infrastructure in Nigeria to world class status. He indicated the desire of the NPA to collaborate with development partners like AFD, as its credit support does not require sovereign guarantee, as it comes with a flexible moratorium and repayment plan.
The Acting Managing Director informed the AFD delegation that he recently led a meeting between the Authority, the Federal Ministry of Transportation and terminal operators, where discussions centered on ways of funding port renewal projects, especially at the Lagos Ports Complex (LPC) in Apapa and the Tin-Can Island Ports Complex (TICP), which is nearing its useful life.
The AFD team, led by David Margonsztern, disclosed that his Agency operates a credit facility agreement with the Lagos State Government and his team is currently carrying out an Implementation Support Mission on Lagos State Strategic Transport Master Plan (LSTMP).
According to him, the visit to the NPA is to explore funding opportunities to support port infrastructure renewal under the Lagos Urban Transport Sector program.
The AFD, he said, intends to partner with the Authority on infrastructure expansion and modernization programs in Lagos State, especially the development of facilities like truck parks and improvement of access corridors to the port for the benefit of residents and businesses in Lagos as well as the Nigerian economy generally.
The NPA MD while commending the joint team from AFD and LAMATA for the visit, assured that the Authority would continue to embrace relations and actions that would position the port system in Nigeria on the path of sustainable growth.