Nigerian ports saw increased gross tonnage of coastal vessels and cargo traffic for the first quarter of the year.
A report by the Nigerian Ports Authority (NPA) shows an increase of 23 per cent over the first quarter of 2012.
Gross tonnage of coastal vessels was 2,237,822 metric tonnes, compared to the equivalent 2012 figure of 1,810,423. Laden container throughput was 216,110 TEUs; a growth of 2.9 per cent over first quarter 2012 figures of 210,057 TEUs.
Refined petroleum was 4,886,001 metric tonnes, an increase of 10.3 per cent over the same period in 2012 – 4,431,318 metric tonnes.
The increase has been put down to continuous maintenance dredging allowing larger vessels to visit.
The increase in importation of refined petroleum was due to increased stability in the oil and gas industry.
NPA, MD, Alhaji Habib Abdullahi, said much support had been given by the federal government for NPR to carry out infrastructure development, which has helped the port’s performance.
“Effort will be intensified as we vigorously pursue our vision to make Nigerian ports the hub of the West and Central African regions,” he said.
In addition, to prevent port congestion and cargo being diverted, roll-on roll-off PTML Terminal owners, Grimaldi Group, has granted 50 to 75 per cent storage waivers for all imported used vehicles discharged at the terminal from 2008 to 2012.
“PTML is the biggest RoRo facility in West Africa and the hub of Grimaldi operations. It will be a blow for all of us if cargo destined to Nigeria, is diverted to other ports because there is no capacity in the port to receive these vehicles,” said PTML general manager Tunde Kesahiro.
There are presently more than 2,500 vehicles which have been at the terminal for more than six months.