The Nigerian Ports Authority (NPA) has blamed the poor showing of the nation’s ports in 2013 on a number of factors, including market forces and the Federal Government strictures on importation of cement, and rice, among other commodities.
As it released the statistics of the performance of Nigerian ports in 2013, which barely bested 2012, the NPA stated in a press release signed by the Assistant General Manager, Public Affairs, Mr. Musa Iliya, that its “recent research revealed that, generally, each port is being shaped by the market forces dictated by the commodity demand and by the particular port user.”
Iliya went on: “The decline experienced in some products can be linked to general economic factor. In dry bulk, for instance, there is ban on the importation of cement. Also, the increase on rice tariff has reduced the importation of the commodity to the country through Nigerian ports, but through smuggling by another route.
“The European debt crises gave birth to the decrease in Liquefied Natural Gas, many of their industries have closed down, and so the demand for our product was low. They have also discovered an alternative means of production in the Middle East.
A breakdown of the 2013 cargo throughput, according to the statistics provided by the NPA, revealed thus:
- The container traffic amounted to 1,010,836 twenty-foot equivalent units (TEUs), reflecting a growth of 15.2 per cent over the 877,737 TEUs posted in 2012;
A total of 291,824 units of vehicles were handled in the period under review, reflecting an increase of 8.9 per cent over the 268,026 units recorded in 2012;
Liquefied natural gas (LNG) shipment handled in the period under review amounted to 19,341,663 metric tonnes, indicating a drop of 12.7 per cent from the 22,146,908 metric tonnes posted in 2012;
The refined petroleum shipment handled was 19,416,043 metric tonnes, and an increase of 9.5 per cent over the 17,730,727 metric tonnes recorded in 2012;
- Dry bulk cargo handled at the ports in the year under review amounted to 9,537,447 metric tonnes, showing a decline of 6.5 per cent from the 10,205,339 metric tonnes posted in 2012; and
- General cargo handled at the ports in year 2013 was 11,964,978 metric tonnes, indicating a drop of 5.8 per cent from the 12,702,826 metric tonnes recorded in 2012.
“In year 2013, the total of 5,185 oceans-going vessels with a total gross registered tonnage (GRT) of 131,674,337 gross tons called at Nigerian ports,” the NPA stated.