The result of e-payment system introduced by the Nigerian Ports Authority recently is now manifesting positively as Cargo throughout from 1,327 vessels during the first quarter of the year stood at 19,659,946 million metric tonnes, an increase of 14 per cent over 17,245,923 metric tones of the entire 2013.
The breakdown of cargo throughout at the ports within the period showed that general cargo, containerised cargo inclusive, contributed 32.2 per cent to cargo throughout at 6,324,366 metric tonnes, indicating a slight increases of 1.4 percent over 6,234,814 metric tonnes recorded in the corresponding period of 2013.
Dry Bulk Cargo stood at 2,302,609 metric tonnes as against 1,971,015 metric tonnes achieved in 2013, contributing 11.7 per cent to cargo throughout.
Liquefied Natural Gas (LNG) shipment accounted for 27.4 per cent of cargo throughput at 5,389,137 metric tonnes compared with 3,748,437 metric tonnes in 1st Quarter of 2013, showing an increase of 43.8 per cent.
Refined Petroleum products stood at 4,613,567 metric tonnes. It also contributed 23.5 per cent to cargo throughout.
Container traffic, including empty containers, amounted to 426,976 TEUs, showing a growth of 15.1 per cent over the 2013 figure of 371,085TEUs.
A total of 78,754 units of vehicles were handled during the period under review. It indicated an increase of 32.1 per cent over the same period of 2013 figure of 59,608 units.
During the period under review, , a total of 1,327 oceans going vessels with a total Gross Registered Tonnage (GRT) of 33,940,386 called at Nigerian Ports, compared with 1,172 vessels with the GRT of 28,830,386 in 2013.
Within the same period, the Lagos Port Complex (LPC) recorded a Gross Registered Tonnage of 8, 472,229, showing an increase of 5 per cent over 8,307,011 gross tons achieved in 2013. A total of 364 vessels were handled in the period under review as against 357 vessels in 2013.
Tin can Island Port recorded a Gross registered tonnage of 11,220,946, indicating an increase of 28.3 per cent over 8,742,953 gross tons recorded in the corresponding period of 2013. A of 435 ocean going vessels were handled within the period.
Calabar Port complex recorded a total GRT of 800,578, a rise of 33 per cent over 614,150 gross tons of 2013, leaving the port with 65 Ocean going vessels in the period under review.
Rivers Port complex recorded a total Gross registered tonnage of 1,262,899, while Onne Port complex recorded a GRT of 10,092,281 reflecting an increase of 18.3 per cent over 8,529,225 gross tons recorded in the corresponding period of 2013 with 181 vessels handled within the period.
The Delta Port Complex recorded 2,091,453 gross tons, showing an increase of 163 per cent over the 2013 figure of 794,877 gross tons, with 151 vessels handled.
The positive variance in port operations during first quarter of this year over that of last year could be the result of the implementation of E-payment in January 2014 which has reduced turnaround time of vessels from 5.3 days to 4.6 days within the period under review.
Also significant increase in LNG shipment re-sulting from the European economic recovery efforts after the debt crises contributed remarkably to the increase in cargo traffic.
The Managing director of Nigerian Ports Authority (NPA), Mallam Habib Abdullahi, while receiving the Belgium Ambassador to Nigeria, Mr. Diru Verheyen recently, said that the successful Port reforms programme embarked upon by the Federal government some years ago has resulted in the improved operational activities. Besides, it opened many investment opportunities for investors and urged prospective investors to explore areas in the Port industry to invest in.
Mallam Habib Abdullahi said that the Authority will continue to focus on research based policies and measures that will ensure uninterrupted 24 hour port operations, fast tracking automation of port operations, continuous dredging and removal of critical wrecks along the channels to guarantee conducive business environment needed to actualize its vision to be the leading port in Africa.
–International Trade Monitor