NIGERIA – The Nigerian Ports Authority (NPA) secured a USD 700 million loan from Citibank, backed by UK Export Finance (UKEF), to upgrade the Apapa and TinCan Island ports.

Managing Director Mohammed Bello-Koko shared the news, expressing his pleasure in signing the mandate letter and term sheet for the loan.

The goal is to rehabilitate the aging quay wall for landside operations and improve the infrastructure to accommodate larger vessels with a depth of 16.5 meters.

The TinCan Island Port, located northwest of the Lagos Port Complex, has been operating since 1975.

It was established during a period of economic growth during the oil boom and post-civil war reconstruction.

Bello-Koko was pleased with the competitive rate offered by Citibank. The loan agreement is currently under review by the Minister of Marine & Blue Economy, Minister of Finance, and Debt Management Office.

Once approved, further discussions with other funding agencies will proceed for the rehabilitation of Calabar, Rivers, Onne, and the Warri Escravos breakwater.

Nigeria launches national single window to streamline trade

Meanwhile, President Bola Ahmed Tinubu recently introduced the National Single Window initiative to simplify and digitize the import/export process in Nigeria.

Speaking at the State House during the launch, President Tinubu described the project as transformative for the country’s trade practices.

He emphasized that the initiative would create a more efficient system by linking ports, government agencies, and other stakeholders, ultimately facilitating smoother trade.

The President highlighted that digitizing trade could bring an estimated annual economic benefit of approximately USD 2.7 billion.

Tinubu mentioned that other countries, such as Singapore, South Korea, Kenya, and Saudi Arabia, have already seen significant improvements in trade efficiency after implementing Single Window systems.

He noted that it was time for Nigeria to follow suit and benefit from a streamlined trade process.

President Tinubu expressed his vision for a Nigeria where businesses can save time and resources, small enterprises can access global markets, and the informal e-commerce sector is incorporated, expanding the country’s tax base.

He concluded by stating that the National Single Window is a crucial step towards building a prosperous and efficient Nigeria.

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