With the successful berthing on Thursday of MV LADY JANE, a vessel with length overall of 295 metres and draft of 12 metres, at the WACT Terminal in Onne Port Complex, the Nigerian Ports Authority has again proven its readiness to consolidate on the growth of container vessel traffic in the eastern ports.
The game-changing attribute of this feat is that the vessel, which sailed in from Majuro in the Marshall Islands, is discharging 840 TEUS and loading 1,060 TEUS, 50 per cent of which are agricultural commodities: cashew nuts, sesame seed and cassia tora seed among others.
This is coming on the heels of the reception at Onne Port of the first ever export-laden barge containing 120 TEUs of cocoa to Belgium via Cotonou earlier this year.
This is a testament to the unwavering resolve of the NPA to promote exports and support the efforts of the Federal Government of Nigeria at positioning the non-oil sector as a revenue earner.
Although Onne Port Complex has traditionally been known as a logistics hub for Oil and Gas services, the implementation of fresh initiatives deployed by the Mohammed Bello Koko Administration in the NPA had resulted in a 30 per cent increase in container traffic at the close of the year 2021.
Whilst the historic berthing of the MV Maersk Stadelhorn, a 300 metres LOA container vessel, earlier on August 15, 2020, tested the navigability of the channel, MV Lady Jane has proven the capability of the channel for sustained container vessel traffic.
Speaking to stakeholders who came to welcome the vessel, which berthed at about 3pm on April, 13, 2022, Koko, the NPA Managing Director, who was represented by the Port Manager, Stanley Yitnoe, said: “What this milestone signposts is the fact the initiatives of the Authority geared towards repositioning the eastern ports for productivity are yielding results and that Onne Port Complex is fast becoming an attraction for container vessel traffic.
“However, we cannot afford to rest on our laurels, we must continually strive to surpass stakeholders’ expectations.”
The Managing Director commended the pilots for the professionalism demonstrated by the effortless and safe berthing of the vessel.
He assured that in addition to the palliative works that have already begun on the arterial roads in Onne Port, full scale rehabilitation of infrastructure as well as improvement of port security through illumination and deployment of access control to check unauthorised entry was top on the Management’s priority.