Port of Antwerp International (PAI), the APEC maritime training center and Nigerian Ports Authority recently signed a collaborative agreement to further expand Nigeria’s port development.
The Antwerp port community and its various partners are currently on a trade mission to West-Africa, including Benin and Nigeria.
The collaboration, signed on 27 November, will mainly take the form of training and consulting and underlines the leading role that the port of Antwerp plays in West Africa, according to a statement.
Nigerian Ports Authority manages six ports within the West African nation.
Out of all the ports in North-West Europe, Antwerp has the highest number of direct services to West Africa. The annual volume of West African freight in Antwerp amounts to almost 17 million tonnes resulting in a market share of 31%.
Nigeria, with a volume of over 6 million tonnes, accounts for the largest part. All trends and indicators show that this share in the statistics will continue to grow in the coming years.
Before the guided tour of the port of Lagos, Kristof Waterschoot, CEO of PAI and APEC, and Hadiza Bala Usman, CEO Nigerian Ports Authority signed the MoU, the collaboration agreement between both ports.
Under the terms of this agreement the port of Antwerp will play an advisory role with regard to the further development of the port of Lagos. In addition, structural training will play an important role.
“We see a lot of potential in the port of Lagos. Thanks to the growing economy, the freight transport with Europe has increased substantially. By means of this collaboration we can use our know-how to advise the port of Lagos in its further development. It underlines the ambition of PAI to consolidate and further develop its already strong position in West Africa,” Kristof Waterschoot, CEO of PAI and APEC, explained.
Hadiza Bala Usman, CEO Nigerian Ports Authority, explained: “The port of Antwerp is an inspiring example for our own port of Lagos. We are most impressed with Antwerp and so are very pleased with this collaboration agreement that will allow us to call upon its expertise. We look towards the future with great confidence.”