Cargo throughput inclusive of crude oil shipments recorded by the Nigerian Ports Authority (NPA) in the first quarter of 2015 stood at 49,304,407 metric tonnes, showing an increase of 7.2 per cent over 45,994,755 metric tonnes achieved within the same period of 2014, according to data released by NPA.
NPA General Manager, Public Affairs, Capt. Iheanacho Ebubeogu gave the breakdown of the cargo throughput as follows:
- General cargo was 6, 469,022metric tons, an increase of 6.10 per cent over 6,097,318metric tons in the same period of 2014 while dry bulk cargo stood at 2,276,358 metric tonnes
- Liquefied Natural Gas (LNG) shipment was 5,545,946 metric tons showing a growth of 0.37 per cent over 5,525,494 metric tons figure of 2014
- Refined petroleum products stood at 4,300,852 metric tonnes, a drop of 6.77 per cent from Q1 2014 figure of 4,613,567 metric tonnes
- Laden containers that passed through all ports amounted to 233,331TEUs
- Empty containers stood at 163,850TEUs while a total of 30,649 units of vehicles were handled in the period under review.
Ebubeogu said, “In the first quarter of 2015, the total of 5,139 oceans going vessels with a total gross tonnage (gt) of 61,990,999 called at Nigerian Ports compared with 57,034,338 recorded in 2014. The gross tonnage of crude oil tankers recorded in the period showed a 12.21 per cent increase over Q1 2014.
“In the period under review, Lagos Port Complex (LPC) recorded a Gross registered tonnage of 9,298,761, showing an increase of 10.6 per cent over 8,407,233 gross tons achieved in 2014. A total of 372 vessels were handled in the period under review.
“Tin can Island Port recorded a gross tonnage of 12,232,575, indicating an increase of 8.15 per cent over 11,310,751 gross tons recorded in the corresponding period of 2014.”
He said a total of 435 ocean going vessels were handled within the period with Calabar Port complex recording 958,288gt showing a rise of 11.67 per cent over 858,174gt recorded in Q1 2014 while Rivers Port complex recorded 1,475,864gt indicating 14.45 per cent increase over 1,288,524 gt it recorded in the corresponding period of 2014.
“A total of 132 ocean going vessels were handled within the period under review. Onne Port complex recorded 12,768,834gt reflecting an increase of 12.99 per cent over 11,300,433gt recorded in the corresponding period of 2014 with 1,025 vessels handled within the period.
“Delta Port Complex recorded 1,643,346 gross tons, with 2,816 vessels handled,” he said.
Ebubeogu said the level of operational activities at the port locations witnessed positive variance during the first quarter of 2015 compared to the corresponding period of 2014.
“A positive growth of 4.17 per cent was achieved over 35,023,619gt forecasted in the first quarter 2015 budget.
“This positive achievement could be attributed to growth in liquid bulk (crude oil lifting) and general cargo traffic which can be attributed to the economic recovery in Europe.
“The Nigerian Ports Authority (NPA) has embarked on palliative measures on the port access roads in collaboration with FERMA in a determination to avoid the gridlock that has affected smooth evacuation of cargo from the ports.
“The Nigerian Ports Authority has also continued to remain focused in making its ports efficient and customer friendly. This resolve has seen the Authority take giant strides to our journey to establish a full complement of port community system (PCS) through integrated information flows of logistic process by the introduction of Electronic Ship Entry Notice (e-SEN) which has been integrated on an online payment platform, Electronic payment, oracle financials, Oracle HR as major initiatives that will further drive with great speed the wheel of shipping in our ports.
“This is to simplify the payment processes to NPA and enhance the provision of a link to the world economy thereby encouraging international trade,” the NPA spokesman said.
Ebubeogu quoted NPA Managing Director, Mallam Habib Abdullahi as saying that the ports had a very strong first quarter which he attributed to continued attention paid to improving existing port infrastructures in the areas of rehabilitation of port quay walls and aprons; the deepening of channels and the upgrading and renovation of common user facilities, wrecks removal from the channels as well as other necessary engineering and marine works to ensure the efficiency of service delivery and meeting the expectation of stakeholders and numerous ports users.
“He believes that with the current repositioning being introduced by the Federal Government under President Muhammed Buhari ,the ports will witness further improvements,” he added.
By Pita Ochai