By Godwin Oritse
Reflecting the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on the maritimes sector, the number ships that sailed into the nation’s port (vessel call) fell by 6.6 per cent, year-on-year, (y/y) to 3972 in 2020 from 4251 in 2019.
Similarly, the volume of goods imported into the country, or cargo throughput fell by 2.2 per cent y/y to 78.4 million metric tonnes (MT) in 2020 from 80.2 million MT in 2019.
Managing Director, Nigerian Ports Authority, Hadiza Bala-Usman, disclosed this yesterday while addressing maritime correspondents in a virtual forum.
She said, “In 2019, we had a total of 4,251 vessels that called into our ports, according to the ship traffic data. In 2020, we had 3972. So, we had a drop. In terms of cargo throughput, we had 78.4 million metric tonnes in 2020 while in 2019 the nation recorded 80.2 million MT in 2019.”
Speaking on the new truck park initiative designed to ease traffic around port access roads and drive down port cost, she said: “We will address the challenges we have with the movement of the barges themselves, to sequence it and make sure that the harbour master is in control of the activities. We will also develop a Standard Operating procedure on barge operations.”
Bala-Usman warned trucks to desist from parking along the port corridors, noting that they could not drive into the ports to receive a cargo without using the e-call up app.
She explained that the process is free, inclusive of on-boarding but the truckers would pay when they are exiting the truck park though it would not be operational till February 27.