Nigerian Ports Record Improvement In Cargo Traffic


Cargo traffic throughput in Nigerian ports has witnessed an increase of about 10.17 per cent within the first half of the year when compared to the metric tonnes recorded in the ports within  the  corresponding period in 2010.

The Managing Director, Nigerian Ports Authority (NPA), Omar Suleiman, made the assertion in his office last week, when the Director-General, Bureau of Public Enterprises (BPE), Ms. Bolanle Onagoruwa, paid him a courtesy visit.

Suleiman expressed that before the concession, vessels that called at the nation’s ports could not carry more than 1,000 TEUs because of limited draught of the channels.

He noted that the Mearsk Line, one of the leading providers of shipping services, for the first time in the history of the nation’s maritime sector, recently brought in a vessel with 4,500 containers and named it Maersk Calabar, after a Nigerian city,

This feat, he added, was possible because the Nigerian Ports Authority has dredged the channels to a draught of 13.5 meters to enable bigger vessels sail into the Nigerian seaports.

He noted that one of the challenges the authority is facing now is the multiplicity of security agencies at the ports which he said, negates the benefits of the concession programme, urging that the BPE should study the nitty-gritty of the concession programme with a view to streamlining it.

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However, a breakdown of NPA cargo througput shows that Liquefied Natural Gas (LNG) shipment in the period under review stood at 10,445,678 metric tonnes, a growth of 27.4 per cent over the figure of 8,594,536 metric tonnes in the first half of 2010.

General cargo shipment in the first half of 2010 increased from 6,344,575 metric tonnes to 6,712,290 metric tonnes in the first half of 2011, reflecting a 5.79 per cent increase. The Dry Bulk Cargo increased from 5,861,915 metric tonnes in the first half of 2010 to 6,627,605 metric tonnes in the period under review, representing a 13.06 per cent increase.

The total Refined Petroleum Shipment was 10,445,678 metric tonnes in the first half of 2011, an increase of 13.46 per cent over the first half of 2010 figure of 9, 210,897 metric tonnes.

The laden container throughput in the period under review is 380,114 TEUs representing a 26.6 per cent increase over the 2010 half year figure of 300,044 TEUs, while vehicle traffic stood at 95,676 units, a rise of 6.17 per cent over the 2010 figure of 90,115 units.

“The consistent rise in cargo throughput witnessed in our nation’s sea ports is a reflection of the commitment of the Nigerian Ports Authority to the regular dredging/maintenance of its channels and removal of critical wrecks,” he stated.

Responding, the BPE boss commended the successes achieved since the commencement of the concession programme, saying, “you have carried the mantle of concession progressively. A lot has happened that have been beneficial to all stakeholders. I have visited the Eastern Ports, NPA officials have been very cooperative and my experience has been satisfactory.”

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