NPA commissions 2 new multi-million dollars state-of-the-art Cranes for APM Terminals
*Engages Customs to remove overtime containers from port
By Udeme Clement :
The Managing Director, Nigerian Ports Authority, NPA, Hadiza Bala Usman, has commissioned two new multimillion dollars state-of-the-art Mobile Harbor Cranes acquired by APM Terminals, to boost service delivery at the Apapa Port, Lagos.
The new equipment were acquired by APM Terminals, the leading global terminal operator, as part of its additional investment of $80 million, (N33.6billion) for the 2020 -2021.
The new equipment brings the total investment by the Company to $438million, equivalent to N184billion, since 2006, in Apapa port.
This huge investment by APM Terminals is the highest by any private terminal operator in the country.
More so, APM Terminals, located in the premiere port, at the heart of Nigeria’s commercial hub, Lagos, is the biggest container terminal in West Africa and best-equipped port terminal in Nigeria.
Speaking during the commissioning ceremony in Lagos, the NPA Boss commended the management of APM Terminals for the new equipment.
She said, “The ports were concessioned by the Federal Government to improve efficiency, in order to free government resources for other developmental purposes.
The volumes of cargo in the port have witnessed steady rise due to favourable government policies in the port industry.
“NPA has continued to engage with private terminal operators at the port, to rise up to the challenge of increased cargo traffic.
“The engagement with operators is yielding tangible results as seen by the commissioning of the two new Mobile Harbor Cranes”
She stressed, “As the ports become more efficient, efforts must be made to enhance cargo delivery processes and free the ports of long-standing cargo.
“We are engaging Nigeria Customs Service to remove overtime containers from the port, to free vital space for incoming cargo.
“We are also working with terminal operators to increase the barging of containers to take pressure off the roads.
“We have seen significant growth in barging capacity and operations with more containers moved daily by barges from the port”.
In his remarks, the Head of Terminals, Africa and Middle East region of APM Terminals, Mr. David Skov, said, “before now, the company had invested $358million (N150.36billion) in port infrastructure development, information technology upgrades, as well as modern cargo handling equipment to improve both quayside and landside operations.
According to him, “The additional investment we are making is to handle the increased trade volumes into Nigeria. Trade in Nigeria is growing due to many favorable efforts and policies of government, including ease of doing business; stabilisation of foreign exchange; closure of the land borders, which has increased the use of our sea ports; and diversification of the economy.”
He informed, “The additional investments will create capacity to handle growth in the economy to support government’s efforts on trade and improve service delivery across the entire logistic chain.
“With acquisition of the new cranes, the terminal now operates with a total of 10 Mobile Harbour Cranes; 23 Rubber-Tyred Gantry Cranes; six Empty Handlers; 48 specialised Truck Terminals, six Reach Stackers and 11 Forklifts”.
Additionally, the President-General, Maritime Workers Union of Nigeria, MWUN, Comrade Adewale Adeyanju, who was represented by the union’s Deputy President-General, Comrade Tonye Harry, commended APM Terminals for the investment and improving port services in the country.
Personalities at the commissioning ceremony were the Managing Director, APM Terminals Apapa, Mr. Martin Jacob; Executive Director, Marine and Operations of NPA, Mr. Onari Brown; the General Manager Marine and Operations, Captain Jerome Anyugwe; the General Manager Monitoring and Regultory Service, Mrs. Ugo Madubuike and NPA General Manager, Security, Surveyor Omotesho. Others were the Port Manager, Lagos Port Complex Apapa, Mrs Olufunmilayo Olotu; and the Port Manager, Tincan Island Port, Mr. Garba Umar.
Recall that APM Terminals took over operations of the Apapa container terminal in 2006, under Government’s port reform programme.
Before now, the company had invested massively on infrastructure, container handling equipment, yard expansion, modernisation of the terminals’ IT hardware, software systems, and development of additional capacity.