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Containerised Exports Rise by 44.43% to 226,456 TEUs – NPA

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The Nigerian Ports Authority has disclosed that containerised exports rose by 44.43 per cent to 226,456 twenty equivalent units in 2023 from 156,790 TEUs in the previous year.

In a release, NPA attributed the leap in export to the licensing of 10 export processing terminals.

It added that the terminals, within the period under review, facilitated exports at Nigerian seaports.

“This move, which provided a one-stop shop for export processing where quality control, cargo assessment and statutory checks by all government agencies were carried out, was geared towards eliminating all bureaucracy and attendant delays that have hitherto undermined the competitiveness of Nigerian exports in the international marketplace.

“The resultant effect of this initiative was a quantum leap in the numbers of Nigerian export-laden containers from 156,790 TEUs in 2022 to 226,456 TEUs in 2023,” the statement read partly.

NPA disclosed that it contributed to the deepening of Nigeria’s balance of trade through the promotion of exports, especially non-oiI exports in response to the national exigency of strengthening the naira.

It noted that to create new businesses and promote multi-modalism in line with global best practices as prescribed by the International Association for Ports and Harbours, it initiated barge operations services.

“Which, apart from reducing pressure on the roads, had grown into a N2bn annual generation business both from direct investment and accompanying externalities.” The authority added.

According to NPA, the movement of cargo by barge has greatly enhanced port-hinterland connectivity “as evidenced by the meteoric rise in numbers from a total of 80,244 TEUs in 2022, to 118,046 TUEs in 2023”.

The agency also said that it had also grown the number of ship calls sequel to the consistent dredging of channels, installation of buoys and improved security at the ports’ channels.

“The number of ship calls grew from 1,997 vessels in 2022 to 2,179 vessels at the end of 2023,” it remarked.

It disclosed that the Lekki Deep Seaport, which doubles as Nigeria’s first fully automated port at take-off, processed 6,076 TEUs of transhipment cargo.

According to NPA, this represented a swift move that signposted the agency’s readiness to cater to the maritime needs of Nigeria’s landlocked neighbouring countries and win back cargo hitherto lost to the country’s maritime neighbours.

It also stated that it sustained revenue performance during the period under review by looking beyond the sole dependence on earnings from core port operations.

“The authority has set public-private partnership modalities in motion to derive revenue from ports independent power production, bunkering stations, fallow lands for logistics, freshwater provision and ship repairs and maintenance and to insulate its income from leakages.

“The authority has firmed up its Revenue Invoice Management System to the cutting edge version of RIMs 2.0,” it asserted.

NPA also disclosed that it collaborated with the Nigerian Liquified Natural Gas Ship Management Limited to deploy the vessel traffic service to complement the newly-equipped control towers across its locations to assure stakeholders of its domain awareness capacity for enhanced security and in response to emergent threats and vulnerabilities.