The Lekki Deep Seaport has received 12 vessels and handled a total volume of 3,561 twenty-foot equivalent units in its three months of operations, the PUNCH has learned.
A document obtained on Monday from the media consultant to the port, Mr Bolaji Abimbola, stated that the total length overall of the vessels that arrived at the port is 265 metres.
“Lekki Port commenced commercial operations on 1st April 2023. From April to June, Lekki Port berthed 12 vessels with a total volume of 3,561 TEU. The average length overall of all the vessels that arrived at Lekki Port was 265 metres. Regarding transhipment, the inbound vessel: CMA CGM Rimbaud berthed on 29th June while an outbound vessel, GSl Alice berthed on 8th July.
“Being the first time that transhipment is happening, Lekki Port and the container terminal operator supported by the Nigerian Ports Authority and Federal Ministry of Transport worked with the Nigerian Customs Service to develop transhipment guidelines to guide the process. The first time the process was affected last month went efficiently and all parties are more confident to increase the volumes,” the document read.
Reacting to this, the National Secretary of the Association of Registered Freight Forwarders of Nigeria, Frank Obiekezie, in a chat with our correspondent, emphasised the need for more awareness among importers and agents.
He urged the Lekki port management to come up with a comprehensive plan to mitigate potential congestion issues at the port.
He noted that building trust and confidence among importers and agents would encourage more cargo traffic to shift towards the Lekki port.
“To start with, it is just a new project coming on board. The decision to route a cargo is the decision of the importer on the advice of his agent, most of the time. Now, most agents and importers have been so used to Apapa and Tincan ports, and most agents have their offices in Apapa and its environs. You know the situation in this country now,” he explained.
Also, a shipper, Ikenna Ejiogu, commended efforts made by the Lekki Deep Seaport in attracting vessels and handling cargo volumes.
He also highlighted the importance of fostering a competitive environment among Nigerian ports to achieve balanced growth in the maritime sector.
Ejiogu stressed the significance of effective collaboration between the Lekki port authorities and relevant government agencies to address the challenges faced in diverting cargo traffic to the new port.