Increased wrecks removal turns Lagos into WAFMAX domain

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LCM BOSS, Danny Fuchs

Shipping operations in Nigeria, which trend is presently on the rise, may be set for another leap, as the Lagos Channel Management [LCM] intensifies efforts to complete the removal of a critical wreck around the Badagry Creek.

NPA Managing Director, Malam Habib Abdullahi
NPA Managing Director, Malam Habib Abdullahi

The removal efforts, presently 70 percent completed, according to informed sources, would enable bigger vessels, presently becoming a common occurrence in Lagos ports, become more opportuned to turn, or reverse and set sail, departing Lagos , after their cargo discharge.
The International Trade Monitor [ITM] gathered that the current effort was at
the instance of the Nigerian government which had given the Nigerian Port Authority [NPA] the approval, not only to dredge and maintain, but also ensure that it further adopt needed initiative that would encourage the continuous visitation of more West African Maximum [WAFMAX] vessel categories from the Mearsk Line and the Saf Marine groups.

The Jonathan’s administration, it was further gathered, took the decision so as to deny the neighboring ports, especially the Port of Cote d’Ivoire, which had surprisingly taken the west coast with a storm, in its forceful approach to emerge as the natural hub for the sub-region.
Consequently, a new set of dangerous wrecks, numbering about 19, one of them, a barge that sank with substantial load of cement bags, were slated for removal.
Their removal, it was gathered is to consolidate the success and gains of the 24 critical wrecks earlier removed.

Speaking on the gains of the on going wrecks removal, a seasoned industry
watcher, Emmanuel Adeagbo said he was glad to see WAFMAX vessel now making several calls into Lagos , adding that it was a true testimony of government’s genuine commitment to the development of shipping operations in Nigeria .
“I feel glad to note that these giant vessels, usually called the WAFMAX are gradually becoming a common sight in Lagos . It demonstrates the reality of the current government’s true commitment to the development and growth of shipping operations in Nigeria ”, he said commending President Goodluck Jonathan for his vision for the maritime sub sector.

The LCM Managing Director, Danny Fuchs said he was happy to note that the foreign shipping giant, the Mearsk line, as well as the Saf Marine were gladly and productively patronizing the Lagos channel, with their WAFMAX vessels.
“The Mearsk line is very happy with the channel. They are doing very good business”, Fuchs said, adding that “Ships are now coming everyday into Lagos . The WAFMAX vessels, he said have been coming into Lagos freely and a fully loaded with a draft of 13.7 or 13.8 meters” he explained further.

The International Trade Monitor (ITM) gathered from sources that the Mearsk Line vessels, the Cabinda sailed in at 12.9 meters draft; the Conakry , Cape-Verde and Copenhagen sailed in with a draft of 12.6 meters, 13.4 meters and 13.8 meter, respectively just like the Saf marine vessel, the Chilaka also sailed, fully loaded at 13.8 meters.

Industry operators believe that if the on-going success was sustained, Nigeria would not only enjoy rising respect from the international community as a serious maritime country, the freight may soon also begin to decrease, with its positive multiplier effects on importer and the final consumers.—International Trade Monitor

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