The Business and Maritime Writers Association of Nigeria (BUMWAN) has commended APM Terminals’ West Africa Container Terminal (WACT) Onne for its huge investment at the Onne Port Complex, Rivers State, and for developing the largest container terminal to service the east Nigerian market.
The President of BUMWAN, Peter Ihejirika, gave the commendation on Thursday when he lead executive members of the association on a courtesy call to WACT.
“Today, we are proud to associate ourselves both individually and collectively as an association and make bold to say that WACT Onne, being the first Greenfield terminal operator in Nigeria, has gone into the annals of history as a successful venture, east of the Niger outside Lagos that can handle many containers in a day and reduced ship turnaround time,” Ihejirika said.
He said WACT has surpassed all expectations in the area of Infrastructure development, Corporate Social Responsibility, job creation “whereby about 2,950 direct and indirect job opportunities have been provided in Nigeria”’ revenue generation, robust business relationship with stakeholders and the host community.
“Your determination to develop the terminal is also not in doubt with the injection of additional 100 million dollars in 2020 into the company which has culminated in the acquisition of state of the art cargo handling equipment such as five Mobile Harbour Cranes, 20 Rubber Tyred Gantry Cranes, reach stackers, terminal trucks and trailers and empty container handlers.
“We are also aware that the upgrade also included deployment of reefer racks with a 600 plug-capacity, expansion of current yard, new workshop and a new terminal gate complex.
“All the above achievements are geared towards increased revenue generation to the Federal Government, and no wonder Onne Customs is setting a milestone in revenue generation even as the command posted an impressive revenue generation of over N128.3 billion from January to September 2021. Such feat would not have been possible if not for the conducive business environment created by WACT at Onne,” Ihejirika further said.
The BUMWAN President also commended WACT for hosting the largest container ship that has ever called at any Nigerian Port.
“The ship named Maersk Stadelhom, with length over all of 300 metres and beam of 48.2 metres has capacity to carry about 10,000 TEU successfully berthed on August 15, 2020 at Berth 8 and even overlapped to berth 9 because of its size,” Ihejirika said.
While asking WACT to sustain its robust relationship with the media, he assured the management of more robust coverage of its activities.
The Commercial Manager of APM Terminals’ WACT, Noah Sheriff, in a presentation to the visiting journalists, appealed to consignees to take prompt delivery of their containers to reduce the dwell time, which he said has risen to 35 days. High container dwell time, he said, hampers the efficiency of the terminal.
Sheriff said WACT’s ongoing additional investment of USD111 million shows the commitment of the parent company, APM Terminals, to Nigeria.
Also speaking, the General Manager, Government and Publish Relations of WACT, Ogbuji Innocent, assured that the company would not rest on its laurels in sustaining its value adding services to the Nigerian economy.
He said WACT has impacted positively on its host communities through the granting of scholarships, creation of direct and indirect jobs, and development of social infrastructure.
A major highlight of the visit was a tour round the terminal and ongoing expansion projects.
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