The management of the Nigerian Ports Authority (NPA) has last week revoked the licenses issued previous beneficiaries at Tin-Can Island shoreline and re-awarded the space to new beneficiaries. This development has further complicated the scramble for the control of the shoreline.

It was reliably gathered that the allocation to the earlier beneficiaries was done in April this year and it is supposed to be due for renewal after a period of one year. Our source also hinted that that the awardees paid over N8 million to the NPA for the portion of land between Port Novo Creek (Tin-can Island 2nd Gate Area) and Apapa/Oshodi Expressway, which was to be used for barge operations.

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Based on the letter signed by the Tin-can Island Port Manager, Ibrahim Yunusa Anji, the awardees had invested about N377 million for dredging and removal of debris, sand filling of the surface of the land, compensation for 180 kiosks, and temporary fencing, among several other expenditures.

It was alleged that just three months into the agreement, NPA in a letter sent to one of the companies awarded the space, terminated the agreement.

In part, the NPA’s letter reads, “You were granted a Temporary Occupation Licence (TOL) and want to inform you that management of Nigerian Ports Authority has terminated the Temporary Occupation Licence (TOL).”

In response to the termination letter, the company wrote a letter of appeal to the Port Manager stressing that they have spent a huge amount on the project. It therefore, urged the Port Manager to use his good office to respond to their letter of appeal. The company stated further: “If you proceed to enforce the termination letter, our company will go bankrupt and we will suffer.”

When contacted to hear his own comment, the Tin-can Island Port Manager, Yunusa Anji, said he couldn’t have done anything without the directive of the headquarters.