Not less than 83 ships would arrive in the various ports situated Nigeria’s commercial nerve centre, Lagos, any time from now, THISDAY has learnt.

The ships, which are carrying different kinds of goods, are expected to berth at the various terminals in the ports, between now and August 23, 2013.

Data collated by Nigerian Ports Authority (NPA) called Shipping Position, also indicated that 20 out of the 83 ships will carry petroleum products.

According to the Shipping Position, which remains a daily publication of movement of ships by the authority, the other ships will sail in with fish, wheat, rice, general cargo, new and used vehicles, steel products, base oil, sugar and malt. It also disclosed that six ships laden with petrol were waiting to discharge at the various oil terminals.

It also said some of the ships would berth at Greenview Development Nigeria Limited (GDNL), ENL Consortium Limited, as well as and Ports and Terminals Multi-services Limited (PTML), which has Tin Can Island Port (TCIP) as its operational base.

With the concession of the nation’s seaports following the economic reforms initiated during the administration of Chief Olusegun Obasanjo, vessels turn around in Nigerian ports have improved significantly.

The exercise, which was supervised by the Bureau for Public Enterprises (BPE) in 2006, put the day-to-day running of the ports in the hands of concessionaires while NPA remains the landlord managing common user services such as piloting.

Besides the improvement in vessels turn around, Nigerian ports also witnessed increase in traffic. NPA had said the improvements witnessed in the ports were part of the gains in the port reforms the federal government embarked upon over six years ago.

The authority, which presently has Alhaji Habib Abdulahi as its Managing Director, said it would not relent in its quest to consolidate on the gains it has recorded so far.

Already, a rail service to facilitate the quick evacuation of cargo from the port has begun in Apapa Container Terminal (ACT), Lagos. Regarded as the largest container terminal in Africa, evacuation of goods in ACT by rail has been hailed by many stakeholders in the maritime sector of the economy.

The service, which is expected to be replicated in other ports in the country before the end of the year, particularly Port Harcourt, Rivers State, is meant to ameliorate the traffic snarl in Apapa and its environs.

Many port users are expected to use the rail rather than the road in the evacuation of their goods from the ports in the months ahead.


Information from This Day was used in this report.