Nigeria remains important maritime market, says WACT boss
The newly appointed Managing Director, West African Container Terminal (WACT), in Onne, Rivers State, Naved Zafar has described Nigeria as a very important maritime market in the West African sub-region.
Zafar, who was the former Managing Director of APM Terminals Cotonou, said he is happy to be in Nigeria to contribute to the realisation of the country’s economic aspirations.
In his new role, Zafar will be responsible for the expansion and transformation of the global terminal operator’s strategic gateway terminal in Eastern Nigeria.
Zafar, according to a statement from WACT, will report to Klaus Laursen, the Country Manager of APM Terminals in Nigeria and work closely with the senior management team in Nigeria and the regional team in Dubai.
He said: “I am happy to be back in Nigeria to contribute to the realisation of the country’s economic aspiration. Nigeria, which is the largest economy and most populous country in Africa, remains an important market in the region.
“I look forward to working with relevant stakeholders towards the successful implementation of our strategic priorities in WACT. I also look forward to expanding the frontiers of service delivery to our numerous customers especially in Eastern Nigeria,” Zafar said.
He joined Maersk Group in 1997 as a Maersk International Shipping Education (MISE) trainee in Pakistan and spent his early years in commercial and operations functions for Maersk Line in Pakistan and Germany.
With a passion for new challenges, Zafar has spent the last 13 years in sub-Saharan Africa in various leadership roles in Nigeria, Ghana, the Democratic Republic of Congo and Benin. Before joining APM Terminals, he had also worked as CEO for Damco West and Central Africa area.
WACT, which started commercial operation in 2006, is the first Greenfield container terminal in Nigeria to be built under a Public-Private Partnership (PPP) model.
Last year, it announced a further investment of $100 million in its phase two upgrade. The phase two upgrade includes the acquisition of three additional mobile harbour cranes, bringing the total in operation to five; 20 rubber tyre gantry cranes; three reach stackers; 13 terminal trucks and trailers and an empty container handler.
The upgrade will also include the deployment of reefer racks with a 600-plug capacity, as well as expansion of the current yard, new workshop and a new terminal gate complex.