Concession of Apapa Container Terminal (ACT) in 2006 has saved the country $200 million (about N32.2 billion) annually which used to be collected by shipping lines as congestion surcharge, the terminal’s concessionaire, APM Terminals Apapa Ltd has said.
Managing director of APMT, Mr. Dallas Hampton said concession of the terminal had enhanced efficiency at the port eliminating congestion and vessel queue in the last six years making Nigerian businessmen to save up to $200 million which they used to pay annually as congestion surcharge.
Hampton made the disclosure while delivering a paper entitled, “An overview of the Nigerian Ports’ Location as a Major Determinant of the Greenfield Port Success in Nigeria,” at the First Nigerian Green Ports Development Summit organised by Golden Edge Consult Limited in collaboration with the Nigerian Ports Authority (NPA) in Lagos.
Represented by the firm’s Media Adviser, Mr. Bolaji Akinola, Hampton who manages Nigeria’s largest container terminal also disclosed that if Nigeria failed to develop Greenfield ports within the next six years, container throughput at Lagos ports was expected to overwhelm the ports’ capacity, as it would hit 2,000,000TEUs by 2018.
With a maximum capacity of 2.2 million TEUs for Lagos ports and Inland Container Depots (ICDs), Lagos ports comprise Lagos Port Complex (LPC), Apapa and Tin Can Island Port Complex TCIP), which the APMT boss said were already congested and relied heavily on ICDs.
He said, “Lagos ports alone handle 90 per cent of the cargo in and out of Nigeria. With container volumes forecasted for Lagos, the combine capacity of Apapa fully developed and Tin Can Island Port and all the ICDs in Lagos area is expected to be inadequate within the next six years. The same situation also applies to general cargo terminals.”
He therefore stressed that development of Greenfield ports at several locations across the country had become inevitable to accommodate the nation’s ever growing trade volume.
“A new port will be needed to keep up with the demand for capacity as the existing ports are surrounded by the city and cannot be further expanded. The new ports development would give investors the opportunity to choose optimal geographical location, terminal design and layout plus processes,” Hampton added.
Also hinting that some investors were already looking at areas like Lekki, Badagry, Olokola and Ogogoro for Greenfield port development, he said, “APM Terminals as a port developer is not averse to seeking new opportunities in Nigeria under the right conditions.”
The summit, which was chaired by a former managing director of NPA, Chief Adebayo Sarumi, attracted major industry stakeholders including the Minister of Transport, Senator Idris Umar, chief executives of parastatals in the ministry, freight forwarders and other key players in the maritime sector.