LAGOS – Nigerian Ports Authority (NPA) said on Wednesday that cargo throughput recorded in the first quarter of the year was 14 per cent higher than the figure in 2013.
A statement issued by Mr Musa Iliya, NPA Assistant General Manager, Public Affairs, in Lagos, said the cargo throughput was 19,659,946 million tonnes compared to the 17,245,923 tonnes for 2013.
The statement said that 1,327 ocean going vessels with a total Gross Registered Tonnage (GRT) of 33,940,386 called at Nigerian ports.
It said that the figure was against 1,172 vessels with GRT of 28,830,386 that called at the ports in 2013.
The breakdown showed that there were increases in general cargo, including containerised cargo, dry bulk cargo and Liquefied Natural Gas shipment (LNG).
The statement said that there was an increase in refined petroleum products, container traffic, including empty containers, and unit of vehicles.
It also said there were increases in the cargo throughput at Lagos Port Complex, Tin-Can Island Port, Calabar Port Complex, Rivers Port Complex and Delta Port Complex.
The statement confirmed that the level of operational activities at the port locations witnessed positive variance over the first quarter of 2013.
It attributed the increase to the implementation of e-payment system in January, which reduced the turn-around time of vessels from 5.3 days to 4.6 days .
It attributed the increase in cargo traffic to efforts economic recovery efforts in Europe after the debt crisis.
The statement said that successful Port Reforms Programme embarked on by the Federal Government had resulted in the improved operational activities.
”The port reform programme has also opened many investment opportunities for investors and it is time for prospective investors to explore areas in the port industry,” it said.
The statement said that there should be fast tracking automation of port operations, continuous dredging and removal of critical wrecks along the channels.
It said the measure would guarantee a conducive business environment essential to achieving Nigeria’s vision to be the leading port in Africa.
The statement said that NPA would continue to focus on research-based policies and measures that would ensure uninterrupted 24-hour port operations. (NAN)