Nigerian Ports Authority Reports Surge in Containerized Exports and Strategic Initiatives for Maritime Growth.

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The Nigerian Ports Authority has revealed that containerized exports experienced a significant surge, increasing by 44.43% to reach 226,456 twenty equivalent units (TEUs) in 2023, compared to 156,790 TEUs in the previous year.

According to a statement released by the NPA, this remarkable growth in exports can be attributed to the licensing of 10 export processing terminals. These terminals, operational during the period in review, facilitated export activities at Nigerian seaports.

The establishment of these terminals aimed to streamline export processing, consolidating quality control, cargo assessment, and statutory checks by various government agencies into a single point. This move was designed to eliminate bureaucratic hurdles and delays that had previously hindered the competitiveness of Nigerian exports in the global market.

The NPA highlighted the positive impact of this initiative, noting a significant increase in the number of Nigerian export-loaded containers from 156,790 TEUs in 2022 to 226,456 TEUs in 2023.

Furthermore, the NPA emphasized its contribution to Nigeria’s balance of trade by promoting exports, particularly non-oil exports, as part of efforts to strengthen the national currency.

In alignment with global best practices advocated by the International Association for Ports and Harbours, the NPA introduced barge operations services to create new business opportunities and promote multi-modalism. These services, besides alleviating pressure on roads, generated an annual revenue of N2 billion through direct investment and associated externalities.

The adoption of barge transportation significantly enhanced port-hinterland connectivity, evidenced by a substantial increase in cargo movement from 80,244 TEUs in 2022 to 118,046 TEUs in 2023.

The NPA also reported an uptick in ship calls, rising from 1,997 vessels in 2022 to 2,179 vessels by the end of 2023, attributed to consistent dredging of channels, buoy installation, and improved port channel security.

Furthermore, the Lekki Deep Seaport, Nigeria’s first fully automated port, processed 6,076 TEUs of transshipment cargo, showcasing the agency’s readiness to cater to the maritime needs of landlocked neighboring countries and reclaim lost cargo.

To diversify revenue streams beyond core port operations, the NPA initiated public-private partnership modalities to leverage ports’ independent power production, bunkering stations, logistics facilities on fallow lands, freshwater provision, and ship repairs and maintenance.

Moreover, the NPA upgraded its Revenue Invoice Management System to RIMs 2.0 to enhance revenue management efficiency. Additionally, collaboration with the Nigerian Liquified Natural Gas Ship Management Limited enabled the deployment of vessel traffic services, bolstering domain awareness for enhanced security across NPA locations in response to emerging threats and vulnerabilities.

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