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New deal for the Eastern ports: Politics : Nigerialog.com - Nigeria's Premier Online Forum

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New deal for the Eastern ports

By: dayan (M) |Time : February 05, 2020, 06:28:53 AM
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THE good times are here – at last! – for Nigeria’s Eastern ports. The Nigerian Ports Authority, NPA, shipping companies, stakeholders in our maritime sector and the economy at large have had enough of the choking situation in Lagos and have decided to look eastwards for relief.

In January 2020 international shipping giant, Maersk Line, announced that its Far East shipping services covering China, Vietnam, Malaysia and Singapore would no longer make calls at the Lagos Ports but would shift all their activities to the Eastern port of Onne in Rivers State, thus reducing transit and waiting time for cargo owners.

Within the same period, the Managing Director of NPA, Hajiya Hadiza Bala Usman, took far-reaching measures to enable the erstwhile neglected Eastern ports absorb excess load off Lagos to make life easier for all. The Authority imposed a 10 per cent discount on harbour dues in all terminals in the Eastern Ports for certain classes of vessels.

NPA has also completed the $44.861 million (N16.150bn) dredging of the Warri port. Added to the $30 million dredging which had earlier been done on the Onne port (which made it possible for Maersk Line and other shippers to start operating from there) life is gradually returning to the eastward maritime theatre of the Nigerian economy.

The NPA MD, in a recent interview with Vanguard, explained that these measures, including the deliberate diversion of excess cargo from the Lagos to the Eastern ports of Port Harcourt, Onne, Warri and Calabar, were aimed at easing the congestion of the Lagos ports, the traffic gridlock of Apapa and the expensive delays which our dependence on Apapa had inflicted on stakeholders.

We welcome these new developments which clearly represent a patriotic rethink in the nation’s maritime administration. As a newspaper, we have written volumes calling for the diversification of our port services by enabling the Eastern ports to take up the excess load from Apapa, but they fell on deaf ears until now.

Shippers were forced to prefer the Lagos ports because they complained that the channels into the Eastern ports were too shallow to take big vessels. In addition, there were too many security risks from pirates and militants. All of these rendered those in the Easte too expensive and risky for operators.

That these anomalies were allowed to go on for so long simply meant failure of governance. We hope that, apart from the dredging, slashing of harbour charges and deliberate diversion of vessels, the security situation will also be addressed to make shipping in the eastern flank faster, safer and cheaper.

We believe that the full activation of the Eastern ports will balance the economy, revive the Apapa business district, increase prosperity and reduce unemployment and crime.

We hope these measures have come to stay.

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Re: New deal for the Eastern ports

By: dayan (M) |Time : February 05, 2020, 06:39:29 AM
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In January 2020 international shipping giant, Maersk Line, announced that its Far East shipping services covering China, Vietnam, Malaysia and Singapore would no longer make calls at the Lagos Ports but would shift all their activities to the Eastern port of Onne in Rivers State, thus reducing transit and waiting time for cargo owners.

I had to cross-check this news with a clearing agent and he actually confirmed that the Onne port is indeed functioning now.

The agent said that goods cleared there (at Onne) costs at least N500,000 less than Lagos ports.
He also said that the cost of hauling a container from Lagos to Onitsha is about N1.2 million. So, by shipping straight to Port Harcourt, one can potentially save at least N1.5 million.

Achievements like this forces one to start taking a second look at the Buhari-led federal government.

Each time I ask HARD questions about this Buhari team, I am told that Buhari means well and is not personally corrupt.

What I have not been able to understand is why a general of his reputation would allow Nigerians to be killed by some marauding "herdsmen" and "bandits" while he essentially does nothing, but let me not digress here ...

If Buhari and crew continue to deliver these types of NATIONAL achievement, it would start to pile up credibility for itself, and reduce the vitriol with which some of us attack it online.

KUDOS to the President and Crew on this!

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