Cameroon: suspension of the concession of the Container Terminal at the Port of Douala

It is a resounding rebound in the soap opera that is now the concession of the container terminal of the port of Douala, with the decision of the highest authorities of the State to put a damper to the process of operating this infrastructure.

In a letter stamped « Confidential, Very Urgent », dated 23 October 2019 addressed to the Director General of the Autonomous Port of Douala (PAD) Cyrus Ngo’o, the Minister of State Secretary General of the Presidency of the Republic Ferdinand Ngoh Ngoh acting on behalf of the President of the Republic instructed the « suspension of the procedure for awarding the concession of the container terminal of the Port of Douala-Bonaberi ».

« By order of the President of the Republic, I have the honor to ask you to suspend the work of finalizing the terms of the concession agreement, together with its annexes, with the company Terminal Investment Limited (TIL), successful bidder provisional concession of the renovation, modernization, operation and maintenance activities of the Douala-Bonaberi Port Container Terminal pending final conclusions of the case AMP Terminals BV and Bolloré SA against Port Authority of Douala bearing on the request of the Littoral Administrative Court in Douala for the purpose of suspending the execution of Decision No. 0006219DG / PAD of 08 January 2019 « .

In a statement dated September 16, 2019, the Director General of the Autonomous Port of Douala « informs the public that the procedure for recruiting a qualified operator for the renovation, modernization, operation and maintenance of the Port Container Terminal of Douala-Bonaberi has resulted in the selection of the company Terminal Investment Limited (TIL) as provisional purchaser of the concession of said terminal « .

In the light of the foregoing, and ‘pursuant to Article 20 of the Constitution Regulation, the discussions to finalize the terms of the Concession Agreement, together with its annexes, will commence without delay, in view of the entry into service the new operator of the terminal on January 1, 2020 « specified Cyrus Ngo’o.

Bolloré challenges his sidelining.

It should be pointed out that the Bolloré Group, which was originally one of the ten or so bidding companies, did not « understand » how it did not appear on the short list of five pre-selected groupings of firms at the end of the year. the International Call for Expressions of Interest (APMI) launched in January 2018.

A list made up of CMA Terminals, based in Marseille, France; Emirati Dubai Port World; the Hutchison Port Investments Ltd consortium, registered in the Cayman Islands; Saudi rights firm Red Sea Gateway Terminal and Terminal Investment Ltd, based in Geneva, Switzerland.

Barely a month after the decision of the General Directorate of the Autonomous Port of Douala (PAD) assigning as temporary contractor the renovation, modernization, operation and maintenance of this infrastructure to the Italian-Swiss Group TIL, the latter was accused of want to proceed with the dismissal of nearly 500 employees.

For the government and the unions, « this non-resumption of the employment contracts of the 440 employees of DIT has serious consequences for the staff of 99% Cameroonian and Cameroonian ».

According to figures, between 2005 and 2018, the Bolloré Group, through its subsidiary Douala International Terminal (DIT), which still operates this container terminal, claims to have recorded nearly 217% volume growth in fourteen years of activity. . During the same period, traffic doubled from 174,456 TEUs (twenty-foot equivalent) to 378,758 TEUs.

Moreover, over the past five years, it is stated, the investments were of the order of 50 billion FCFA.

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