Chief Executive Officer of APM Terminals, Kim Fejfer, has said that he is very proud of the achievements of the management and staff of APM Terminals Apapa Limited in turning around the facility from a dilapidating one to a modern container terminal within a very short period of time.
Fejfer bared his mind penultimate Tuesday when he visited Nigeria.
“I have been here many times since 2006 when we took over the concession and I must say that I am really impressed at the progress that you have accomplished”, Fejfer said when he addressed staff shortly after a tour of the Apapa terminal.
“Now we see a modern container terminal performing at par with the best in Europe and this has important impact on trade in and out of Nigeria,” Feifer said.
When asked he was satisfied with the safety level at Apapa, Fejfer said: “In terms of safety, I am never really happy. I am always concerned because we do still see quite severe accidents in our operations but in terms of the terminal here in Apapa, I must say the progress that the team has accomplished since we took over in 2006 is truly remarkable.”
He said safety remained the responsibility of every employee.
“As you well know, we want to make sure that everybody gets home to their families every evening”, he said.
The APM Terminals CEO said that there has been a lull in shipping activities which has also affected port operation as the projected volume of growth in the Nigerian market has not been realised.
“If you look at the world right now, we still see the port industry as an industry that is growing but I have to say that the port industry is not growing as fast as we may have hoped for. We do see that import into Europe is not very strong; we do see that import into America is not very strong; we also see that trade in high growth markets like West Africa and Nigeria is not as strong as we have hoped for.
“So that is really what is going on in the market on the commercial side. On the operational side; we remain focused on improving our productivity and keeping cost low. If you look at our total portfolio last year; we improved our productivity nine percent. So that is quite impressive for a global operation and that journey has to continue”, Fejfer said.
He said that APM Terminals has continued to expand its portfolio with the addition of a new project in Turkey, Mexico, Brazil, Russia and an ongoing negotiation in Abidjan.
“We have expansion in many places in the world, in particular here in West Africa where we are doing a lot of expansions here in Apapa where we have a big expansion project going on. So we are continuing to grow our business and we are focusing on growing our bottom-line as well”, Fejfer said.