Operator flays Webb Fountain’s lack of 24-hour operations at Onne

The General Manager of the West African Container Terminal (WACT) Nigeria Ltd, Onne Port, Innocent Ogbuji, on Wednesday said the service provider at the port should commence 24-hour operation to enable quick delivery of containers.

Ogbuji said that non-compliance to 24 hour service directive by the Nigeria Customs Service (NCS) IT service provider, Webb Fontaine, had limited the scope of work done at the port.

“The Federal Government has pronounced that the ports (should) operate 24 hours; 24/7 seven. Unfortunately, we found out that the Webb Fontaine, that is, the IT providers only open for services between 9.a.m. and 6 p.m., thereby limiting the scope of work in the port.

“On weekends, which they don’t even work at all, that means slowing down the free flow of containers in the port. Another challenge that we have is in the area of the road. The road leading to the port is in very bad shape,” Ogbuji said.

He said that the calling of WAFMAX, Maersk Line’s jumbo ships at Onne port, would increase the flow of containers into the port.

Ogbuji said the increase in container flow would consequently increase revenues earned by both government and the terminal operators.

He said the jumbo WAFMAX ships would create a lot of job opportunities for the people around the port environment because it would require more hands to bring containers out of the ports.

“What is responsible for this achievement is the business already is improving based on the services being rendered. We have delivered and a lot of lines are willing to call Onne because of the services provided.

“This terminal is not congested; vessels coming berth alongside without waiting time. When the containers are discharged, they also leave the port on time, so customers send their containers to the market so that they can sell and go back to the market. The roads inside the port you can see are very good. The only area where we have challenges is between here and Eleme Junction which is not that bad but need to be worked on.

“Aside that from here to Onitsha is good, from here to Aba is good. So the turnaround time takes between two to four hours for goods that left Onne port to get to their warehouse, compared to the other ports,” he said.

Ogbuji commended the efforts of the Nigerian Ports Authority (NPA) in dredging the port which had enabled Maersk Line bring the WAFMAX ships to Onne port.

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