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E-payment triggers increased efficiency of port operations

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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

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WAIVER CESSATION: Igbokwe urges NIMASA to evolve stronger collaboration with Ships owners

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…Stresses the need for timely disbursement of N44.6billion CVFF***

Highly revered Nigerian Maritime Lawyer, and Senior Advocate of Nigeria (SAN), Mike Igbokwe has urged the Nigeria Maritime Administration and safety Agency (NIMASA) to partner with ship owners and relevant association in the industry to evolving a more vibrant merchant shipping and cabotage trade regime.

Igbokwe gave the counsel during his paper presentation at the just concluded two-day stakeholders’ meeting on Cabotage waiver restrictions, organized by NIMASA.

“NIMASA and shipowners should develop merchant shipping including cabotage trade. A good start is to partner with the relevant associations in this field, such as the Nigeria Indigenous Shipowners Association (NISA), Shipowners Association of Nigeria (SOAN), Oil Trade Group & Maritime Trade Group of the Nigerian Association of Chambers of Commerce, Industry, Mines and Agriculture (NACCIMA).

“A cursory look at their vision, mission and objectives, show that they are willing to improve the maritime sector, not just for their members but for stakeholders in the maritime economy and the country”.

Adding that it is of utmost importance for NIMASA to have a through briefing and regular consultation with ships owners, in other to have insight on the challenges facing the ship owners.

“It is of utmost importance for NIMASA to have a thorough briefing and regular consultations with shipowners, to receive insight on the challenges they face, and how the Agency can assist in solving them and encouraging them to invest and participate in the maritime sector, for its development. 

“NIMASA should see them as partners in progress because, if they do not invest in buying ships and registering them in Nigeria, there would be no Nigerian-owned ships in its Register and NIMASA would be unable to discharge its main objective.

The Maritime lawyer also urged NIMASA  to disburse the Cabotage Vessel Financing Fund (CVFF)that currently stands at about N44.6 billion.

“Lest it be forgotten, what is on the lips of almost every shipowner, is the need to disburse the Cabotage Vessel Financing Fund (the CVFF’), which was established by the Coastal and Inland Shipping Act, 2003. It was established to promote the development of indigenous ship acquisition capacity, by providing financial assistance to Nigerian citizens and shipping companies wholly owned by Nigerian operating in the domestic coastal shipping, to purchase and maintain vessels and build shipping capacity. 

“Research shows that this fund has grown to about N44.6billion; and that due to its non-disbursement, financial institutions have repossessed some vessels, resulting in a 43% reduction of the number of operational indigenous shipping companies in Nigeria, in the past few years. 

“Without beating around the bush, to promote indigenous maritime development, prompt action must be taken by NIMASA to commence the disbursement of this Fund to qualified shipowners pursuant to the extant Cabotage Vessel Financing Fund (“CVFF”) Regulations.

Mike Igbokwe (SAN)

“Indeed, as part of its statutory functions, NIMASA is to enforce and administer the provisions of the Cabotage Act 2003 and develop and implement policies and programmes which will facilitate the growth of local capacity in ownership, manning and construction of ships and other maritime infrastructure. Disbursing the CVFF is one of the ways NIMASA can fulfill this mandate.

“To assist in this task, there must be collaboration between NIMASA, financial institutions, the Minister of Transportation, as contained in the CVFF Regulations that are yet to be implemented”, the legal guru highlighted further. 

He urged the agency to create the right environment for its stakeholders to build on and engender the needed capacities to fill the gaps; and ensure that steps are being taken to solve the challenges being faced by stakeholders.

“Lastly, which is the main reason why we are all here, cessation of ministerial waivers on some cabotage requirements, which I believe is worth applause in favour of NIMASA. 

“This is because it appears that the readiness to obtain/grant waivers had made some of the vessels and their owners engaged in cabotage trade, to become complacent and indifferent in quickly ensuring that they updated their capacities, so as not to require the waivers. 

“The cessation of waivers is a way of forcing the relevant stakeholders of the maritime sector, to find workable solutions within, for maritime development and fill the gaps in the local capacities in 100% Nigerian crewing, ship ownership, and ship building, that had necessitated the existence of the waivers since about 15 years ago, when the Cabotage Act came into being. 

“However, NIMASA must ensure that the right environment is provided for its stakeholders to build and possess the needed capacities to fill the gaps; and ensure that steps are being taken to solve the challenges being faced by stakeholders. Or better still, that they are solved within the next 5 years of its intention to stop granting waivers”, he further explained. 

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Breaking News: The Funeral Rites of Matriarch C. Ogbeifun is Live

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The Burial Ceremony of Engr. Greg Ogbeifun’s mother is live. Watch on the website: www.maritimefirstnewspaper.com and on Youtube: Maritimefirst Newspaper.

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Wind Farm Vessel Collision Leaves 15 Injured

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…As Valles Steamship Orders 112,000 dwt Tanker from South Korea***

A wind farm supply vessel and a cargo ship collided in the Baltic Sea on Tuesday leaving 15 injured.

The Cyprus-flagged 80-meter general cargo ship Raba collided with Denmark-flagged 31-meter wind farm supply vessel World Bora near Rügen Island, about three nautical miles off the coast of Hamburg. 

Many of those injured were service engineers on the wind farm vessel, and 10 were seriously hurt. 

They were headed to Iberdrola’s 350MW Wikinger wind farm. Nine of the people on board the World Bora were employees of Siemens Gamesa, two were employees of Iberdrola and four were crew.

The cause of the incident is not yet known, and no pollution has been reported.

After the collision, the two ships were able to proceed to Rügen under their own power, and the injured were then taken to hospital. 

Lifeboat crews from the German Maritime Search and Rescue Service tended to them prior to their transport to hospital via ambulance and helicopter.

“Iberdrola wishes to thank the rescue services for their diligence and professionalism,” the company said in a statement.

In the meantime, the Hong Kong-based shipowner Valles Steamship has ordered a new 112,000 dwt crude oil tanker from South Korea’s Sumitomo Heavy Industries Marine & Engineering.

Sumitomo is to deliver the Aframax to Valles Steamship by the end of 2020, according to data provided by Asiasis.

The newbuild Aframax will join seven other Aframaxes in Valles Steamship’s fleet. Other ships operated by the company include Panamax bulkers and medium and long range product tankers.

The company’s most-recently delivered unit is the 114,426 dwt Aframax tanker Seagalaxy. The naming and delivery of the tanker took place in February 2019, at Namura Shipbuilding’s yard in Japan.

Maritime Executive with additional report from World Maritime News

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ADEBAYO SARUMI: Doyen of Maritime Industry Marks 80th Anniversary, Saturday 

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