The Managing Director of the Nigerian Ports Authority, Hadiza Bala-Usman, said a total of 3972 vessels were called into Nigerian ports in 2020, compared to 4251 vessels in 2019.
Bala-Usman, who addressed maritime correspondents in a virtual forum on Monday, said that the nation also witnessed a drop in cargo throughput in 2020.
She said, “In 2019, we had a total of 4251 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.”
She added, “This new licensing regime, the marine and operations directory is going to embark on new licences in 2021 which will be stricter in ensuring the barges are functional.
“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 was free, inclusive of onboarding but the truckers would pay when they were exiting the truck park though it would not be operational till February 27.