Malam Habib Abdullahi , MD, NPA
Not less than 85 million throughputs were recorded by the Nigerian Ports Authority (NPA) from January to December 2011, its Managing Director, Malam Habib Abdullahi, has disclosed.
Cargo throughput comprises imports and exports and it is one of the key indicators in the determination of efficiency and volume of trade in any country through her ports.
Abdullahi disclosed this in Lagos at the just-concluded 2012 Lagos International Trade Fair with a theme: ‘Promoting Trade for Sustainable Economic Transformation’.
The NPA boss, represented by NPA General Manager, Western Ports, Alhaji Mohammed Bulangu, said there had been improvement in the nation’s seaports as a result of privatisation of the six major ports to 25 concessionaires.
His words: “The ports were fully operational today. Improvements have been recorded in the areas of throughput, turnaround time of vessels and service delivery, while investment in rehabilitation of infrastructure by terminal operators is ongoing. The reform programme of the ports is not without challenges but NPA is making great strides to fulfill its statutory obligations”.
He explained that the authority had the main challenge of trucking and access roads in Lagos, even as he said it would also emphasise on marine services and user responsibility. According to him, the authority was committed to improvement through private sector participation in its activities.
President of the Lagos Chamber of Commerce and Industry (LCCI), Mr. Goodie Ibru, in his remarks at NPA stand, said that the ports played a major role in economic transformation of the country.
Noting that the privatisation of the ports came with a lot of challenges to business men, most of which were its members, he called on the authority to continue to address the issues to ensure they were solved.
Ibru, who was represented by the LCCI Deputy President, Alhaji Remi Bello, said that the use of Tafawa Balewa Square for the trade fair was as a result of ongoing construction at the Badagry Expressway Trade Fair Complex. He, however, said that the exhibitors and visitors were happy due to accessibility of the venue, adding that the traffic in the area was effectively managed.
Meanwhile, NPA has disclosed 24 fuel-laden ships are waiting to berth at various oil terminals at Lagos ports. In its daily publication on berthing made available to THISDAY, the authority said that the products include aviation fuel, petrol, kerosene, base oil and ethanol.
According to the document, petroleum products would be discharged in oil terminals, including Atlas Cove Jetty, Ibafon Terminals, New Oil Jetty, Apapa Bulk Terminal Limited, Single Buoy Mooring and Bulk Oil Plant.
It said three ships laden with bulk malt, bulk wheat and rice, were also waiting to berth. It also indicated that 103 other ships were being expected in the Lagos ports between November 8 and December 2, 2012.
It said that the ships would sail in with rice, general cargo, bulk salt, petroleum products, new and used vehicles, containers, steel products, sugar, fresh fish and bulk urea.