Vessels call at the Nigerian ports have dropped in the first quarter of 2018 by 2.3 per cent according the performance report of the Nigerian Ports released by the Nigerian Ports Authority (NPA).
The report was released at the Nigerian Port Consultative Council (PCC) quarterly meeting held in Lagos. The meeting was attended by the PCC and its members which were drawn from various departments of the authority including the marine police, the Nigeria Customs Service (NCS), the Nigerian Immigration Service (NIS) and terminal operators,
The slowdown in the port performance may not be unconnected with the poor port’s access road, security challenges, shallow channels and some government’s policies which are not considered friendly to boost vessels traffic
The Nigerian ports recorded a mixed fortunes of performance in the first quarter of 2018 , when the number of vessels which called at the ports during the period slumped from 1,008 vessels in the 4th quarter of 2017 to 985 vessels during the period under review, showing a decrease of 2.3 per cent
The report also showed a gross tonnage of ship from 31,693,650 as against 32,598,477 recorded in the 4th quarter of 2017, showing a decline of 2.8 per cent.
Similarly, container traffic in the 1st quarter of 2018 dropped as statistics showed that within the period under review, container traffic stood at 387,016 Total Equivalent Unit (TEUs),indicating a decrease of 7.1 per cent from 416,806 TEUs handled by the same ports in the 4th quarter of 2017.
Also, vehicle traffic within the period under review dropped as a total of 37, 584 vehicles were handled by NPA within the period under review, showing a decrease of 13.2 per cent from 43,338 units received in the previous quarter.
Conversely however, the ports curiously recorded an impressive cargo throughput with the period under review with 18,729,889 metric tons of goods in the first quarter of 2018, as against the 17,250,334 metric tons of cargo the seaports received in the 4th quarter of 2017, indicating an increase of 8.6 per cent.
The inward traffic stood at 10,617,318 metric tons, representing 56.7 per cent of cargo throughput at the ports in the 1st quarter of 2018, while the outward cargo traffic was said to be 8,112,671 metric tons representing 46.3 per cent of the total cargo traffic.
However, the turn-around time of vessels stood at 3.8 days when compared to 4.1 day in the 4th quarter of 2017, while berth occupancy rate was 32.8 per cent as against 33.8 per cent on the 4th quarter of 2017.
The 1st quarter of 2018 witnessed a significant growth in cargo traffic when compared to the 4th quarter of 2017, there was a decrease of 2.3 per cent in the number of ships that called to the ports but the corresponding cargo traffic increased by 2.3 per cent due to increase in export cargoes especially LNG shipment and agricultural products.
On the other hand however, there was an improvement in the turn-around time of vessels. This increase, according to the report, was as a result of concerted effort of the management of NPA to improve port infrastructure and aid implementation of federal government’s executive order on ease of doing business.
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