Expert drums support for Eastern ports, lauds NPA’s feats
An industry expert and chieftain of the Association of Licensed Customs Agents (ANLCA), Enoch Iwueze has drummed support for the nation’s seaports located in the Eastern part of the country.
While decrying the over concentration of shipping activities in the sin Lagos ports, Iwueze, in an interview called for the implementation of policies and programmes that would enhance operations in Eastern ports.
He enjoined stakeholders in the maritime sector to give what he called “their unalloyed support” in the measures put in place by the Federal Government to make shipping operation in Eastern ports better than its present level.
According to him, efforts by the Federal Government to ease the congestion in Lagos ports should be sustained in the months ahead. It does not make any economic sense that the Eastern ports are virtually idle while the ones in Lagos are congested bringing pains, sorrows and unnecessary additional cost to port users and others in the cargo clearance chain.
The ANLCA chieftain who is also the Managing Director and Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of Air Sea Freighters Limited spoke on the heels of the recent berthing of the largest container ship to ever visit Nigeria at Onne Port Complex, Rivers State.
His words: “This feat attained by Maersk Line in collaboration with the Nigerian Ports Authority (NPA) will go a long way to encourage other shipping lines which have been skeptical of draught limitations to schedule their larger and bigger vessels to Onne Port. It will equally reduce the volume, rate and transshipment containers hitherto being brought by feeder vessels from other neighboring countries”.
Recall that penultimate Saturday at Onne Port, Rivers State, history was made as a leading container terminal operator, the West Africa Container Terminal (WACT) received the largest container ship ever to berth at any Nigerian port.
Named Maersk Stadelhorn with length overall of 300 meters and beam of 48.2 metres, the ship has capacity to carry about 10,000 Twenty Equivalent Units (TEUs) of containers. Hitherto, the regular container ship calling at Nigerian ports are those in the class of WAFMAX with a maximum capacity of 4,500 TEUs.
Iwueze said Nigerians stand to gain more when all the nation’s seaports are fully utilized for the benefit of the citizenry.
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