An estimated 2,427 ocean-going vessels, with a total gross registered tonnage of 60,096,179 called at all Nigerian ports (excluding crude oil terminals), according to the Nigerian Ports Authority (NPA).
Gross registered tonnage (GRT) is a ship’s total internal volume expressed in “register tons”, one of which equals to a volume of 100 cubic feet (2.83 m3).
It is calculated from the total permanently enclosed capacity of the vessel.
During the review period, the Tin-Can Island Port recorded 19,666,634 GRT, which is a 10.6 per cent increase over the corresponding period of 2012, which was 17,777,277 GRT.
A total of 830 vessels were handled in the period under review at the port.
The Lagos Port Complex (LPC) recorded 16,189,825 GRT, reflecting an increase of 12.2 per cent over the first half 2012 figure of 15,519,058 GRT.
The LPC handled 712 ocean-going vessels from January to June, 2013.
During the review period, the Rivers Port Complex recorded 3,418,309 GRT, a decrease of 5.5 per cent when compared with the 3,612,002 GRT achieved in the first half of 2012.
A total of 227 ocean-going vessels were handled at the port within the review period.
From January to June, 2013, the Onne Port Complex recorded 17,586,716 GRT, reflecting a decline of 14.1 per cent when compared with the 20,488,507 GRT in the corresponding period of 2012.
The port handled 380 oceangoing vessels in the period under review.
The Calabar Port Complex recorded 1,337,475 GRT, showing a growth of 4.75 per cent over the 1,276,709 GRT recorded in the corresponding period of 2012.
The port handled 83 vessels from January to June, 2013.
The Delta Port Complex handled 1,897,220 GRT, showing an increase of 22.5 per cent over last year’s figure of 1,547,862 GRT.
195 Vessels were handled at the Delta Port Complex in the first six months of 2013.
It was noted that whlie there is draught restriction, shuttle vessels to the Warri Refinery are made bigger to enable carriage of the requisite quantity of crude oil to the refineries at permissible draught.
The Analysis showed that most of the ports recorded increase in the Gross Registered Tonnage mainly due to the constant capital and maintenance dredging of the channels at the nation’s ports by the Lagos Channel Management (LCM) and Bonny Channel Management (BCM) companies, respectively.
The volume dredged from 2006 to date by the LCM, according to the NPA, is 53,583,546m3, while a total of 24 critical wrecks have been removed.
Nigerian ports started receiving larger vessels of above 232.33 metres with capacity of 4,500 20-foot equivalent units (TEUS), requiring draught of 13.5 metres.
This provides shipping companies the economy of space which enhances their turnover.
Taking advantage of this achievement, WAFMAX vessels Maersk Calabar and Maersk Conakry, 250-metre long vessels, requiring 13.5-metre draught, owned by Maersk Line, commenced calling at Lagos ports.
The volume dredged by BCC from 2006 to date, according to the NPA, is 43,537,000m3, while 14 wrecks have been removed.
Bonny Channel, from its previous 12.50-metre draught has been deepened to its present 14.30-metre, increasing its width from 215 metres to 230 metres.
“The successful wreck removal campaign being undertaken by the Authority also ensured safe navigation of vessels and protection of marine environment amongst other economic benefits,” according to the General Manager, Public Affairs, NPA, Capt. Iheanacho Ebubeogu.
He quoted the NPA Managing Director, Mallam Habib Abdullahi, as saying that the port reforms have caused intensified efforts by the terminal operators to procure cargo handling equipment and upgrading of the various terminals while the Authority has continued to engage in rehabilitation of port infrastructure.
Ebubeogu further quoted Abdullahi as saying that, with the deep sea ports scheduled to come on stream, Nigeria will achieve the vision to be the hub of West and Central Africa.