By Eromosele Abiodun
As part of efforts to increase patronage at the Eastern Ports, and decongest Apapa port, the Nigerian Ports Authority (NPA) has approved a 10 per cent discount on harbour dues in all concession terminals at the Eastern Ports.
The NPA in a statement yesterday stated that the ports that will be affected by this initiative are the ports in Calabar, Rivers and Delta states.
The NPA in the statement added, “the authority however wishes to clarify that this discount will only apply to harbour dues payable by the following types of vessels/cargoes: Container vessels with at least 250 TEUs, (Twenty-foot Equivalent Units (TEUs) general Cargo vessels with at least 16,000 MT, combo vessels with at least 16,000 metric tonnes and RORO vessels with at least 250 units of vehicles”
It added, “Theses discounts shall not apply to: vessels coming INBALLAST, vessels calling at private jetties and vessels calling carrying liquid bulk. The application of these discounts will take immediately effect.”
The NPA had last year commenced the dredging of Warri port at the cost of $44.861million (N16.150 billion).
THISDAY checks revealed that the dredging has been completed and vessels have started calling at the port.
Confirming the above, a Warri-based Customs broker and former National Financial Secretary of the Association of Nigeria Licensed Customs Agents (ANLCA), Val Orhobabhor, told THISDAY recently that the dredging project had been completed.
Aware of the perennial gridlock in Apapa as a result of the activity at the Lagos port, the NPA had recently announced that it was working with professionals in the maritime sector to make the eastern ports attractive for business.
Last year, the NPA deployed equipment worth over $30 million in Onne Port, Rivers State.
The measure, which was taken by the Managing Director of the NPA, Hadiza Bala-Usman, was to boost efficiency, security and make the port attractive for business.
Onne Port Complex is one of the key ports under the NPA.
It is situated on the Bonny River Estuary along Ogu Creek. It was also gathered that six pilot cutters, tug boats and 17-meter offshore patrol boats, have been deployed in the port to make the port attractive and stem the cycle of criminalities within and around the port.
Sources at Onne Port confirmed to THISDAY that it cost the NPA more than $30 million to deploy the sophisticated equipment.