Two years after the concession agreement between the Nigerian Ports Authority (NPA) and AP Moller Terminals for Lilypond Terminal, off-dock facility in Lagos, a new bidding process is about to be kick-started for a new concessionaire.
Lilypond was concessioned in 2006 to AP Moller Terminals with the 10-year agreement having ended in 2016.
The NPA, which confirmed the planned fresh bid round for the terminal, said the terminal would soon be open for fresh bidding as soon as the Public Private Partnership department of the agency concluds the paperwork.
“The PPP department is working on the modalities for placing adverts for new bids. Whoever is successful in the bid will be given a concession of the terminal. The terminal is originally designated as an agricultural export terminal,” the Assistant Manager, Corporate and Strategic Communications, NPA, Ibrahim Nasiru said.
APMT has indicated thst it will seek to retain the management of the terminal. Its Head of Communications, Mr. Austin Fischer, said the firm had an intention of bidding for the terminal in the new arrangement but that it did not intend to use the facility as a dry port terminal but as an agricultural hub for its new Cold Chain project aimed at preserving perishable goods coming from the north.
Fischer said the terminal was originally designated as an overflow facility for containers coming to APMT in Apapa Port, adding that when the firm later increased the capacity of the Apapa Port from 200,000 Twenty Equivalent Units to one million TEUs, the firm saw no need to use Lilypond Terminal as an overflow facility because the Apapa Port was big enough for all its containers.
The terminal, which is located opposite the busy Ijora Bridge, was used in the past to house containers conveyed by rail from the seaport. The mode of transportation was cheaper and faster and helped ease the traffic gridlock along the port access roads.
The chairman, Association of Nigerian Licensed Customs Agents, Lilypond Chapter, Femi Olabanji, lamented that the terminal had remained idle since and even transit containers that were to be sent there were not delivered since August.
Lilypond, which is a bonded terminal, still has a full complement of all the government agencies including Customs, Department of State Services, Port Health Authority and other agencies working there to facilitate cargo clearing process.