APMT: We’re Acquiring More Equipment to Stop Port Congestion

0

Eromosele Abiodun

Following THISDAY’s exclusive report on moves by the Nigerian Ports Authority (NPA) to take over the operation of APM Terminals (APMT) after the expiration of the ultimatum given to the firm this week, the company yesterday announced that it had placed orders for more equipment to cope with the significant growth at the Lagos Port.

THISDAY had exclusively reported that the NPA had issued a 30-day ultimatum to the terminal operator to address lapses, which have resulted in port congestion and Apapa gridlock.

The ultimatum, which was given to the company last month, would expire this week.
But in a statement issued yesterday, the Managing Director of APM Terminals Apapa, Mr. Martin Jacob, said: “Due to the conducive economic environment coupled with the closure of the border with Benin Republic, Lagos ports witnessed a spike in volume as cargo was diverted from Cotonou, with periods such as October witnessing up to 50 per cent year-on-year growth of imports.

“APM Terminals Apapa has expedited the investment in additional equipment, with the first batch of three cranes already in operation after arriving within the last month. “A further five cranes are scheduled to arrive within the next few weeks to not only handle the ocean-going vessels but also inject much-needed capacity for the needed barging.

“The current investment phase, which will cover yard expansion apart from equipment, will cost about N65 billion. APM Terminals Apapa is committed to delivering the Nigeria Ports Authority’s vision in enhancing the country’s maritime sector.”

He recalled that in 2006, APM Terminals Apapa was awarded the concession to manage, operate and develop the Apapa container terminal at the Lagos Port Complex, after the federal government concessioned Nigerian ports with the purpose of improving port services through private investment and expertise.

“The 55-hectare facility has 1,005m quay length, 13.5m draft alongside with an annual handling capacity of 1.2million TEU,” he added.
APM Terminals Apapa said it had invested N130 billion in infrastructure, IT upgrades and modern container handling equipment to improve both quayside and landside operations.