Apapa Port Defies the Odds

Notwithstanding its operating limitations, the Apapa Port is faring relatively well and has generated huge revenue in the last eight months, writes John Iwori

Apapa port occupies a prime position in the maritime industry. Atlhough Tin Can Island Port (TCIP), which was built by Chief Olusegun Obasanjo during his first stint as Nigeria’s Head of State is newer and modern, Apapa port remains the busiest in the country. Other seaports located in Calabar, Warri, Sapele, Port Harcourt and Onne lag behind in several aspects such as vessel calls, import discharge, yard occupancy, containers gate out and cargo dwell time (CDT). CDT is the average time that cargo stays in the terminal from the point of discharge to the point it leaves the terminal. For several factors, it is generally high in the country. This explains why the World Bank, in its reports, listed Nigeria as one of the most expensive places to do business in the world. Industry players said the high CDT contributes to the high cost of doing business in the country. This is because the consignees eventually pass the high cost getting the cargo out of the ports to the final consumers. Unlike many ports in the country, CDT in Apapa port is low. This is a result of modern cargo handling equipment, skill personnel, and the preference of most consignees to use Apapa port rather than other ports. Rather than use the port located in Port Harcourt, Onne, Calabar or Warri, many people prefer to patronise the ones in Lagos and convey the goods by road to the East. This is one of the reasons why the port is miles apart from others in the country.

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