The volume of non-oil cargo imported into Nigerian ports has grown to 344.415 million metric tons in five years, covering 2007 to 2011, according to statistics released by the Nigerian Ports Authority (NPA).
A breakdown of the statistics shows that a total of 54.641 million metric tons of cargo was imported into the country in 2007; 65.192 million metric tons in 2008; 66.908 million metric tons in 2009; 74.910 million metric tons in 2010 and 82.763 million metric tons in 2011.
According to the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) non-oil imports for 2007 to 2011 amounted to N32.1 trillion in monetary terms. A breakdown of this, shows that Nigerians spent N3.9 trillion in 2007; N5.2 trillion in 2008; N5.1 trillion in 2009; N7.6 trillion in 2010 and N10.2 trillion in 2011.
The cargoes were brought into the country in the form of general, dry bulk and containerised cargoes, imported through the Apapa , Warri and Onne ports, as well as Tin-Can 1 and 11 ports in Lagos. They comprised of consumer goods, capital goods, raw materials and miscellaneous goods.
Capital goods and raw materials accounted for the highest proportion of the total non-oil cargo imports, to the tune of 195.938 million metric tons (N18.2 trillion); followed by consumer goods amounting to 156.709 million metric tons (N13.62 trillion) while the miscellaneous goods are responsible for the remaining 2.101 million metric tons (N0.3 trillion).
A recent Trade Report released by Maersk Nigeria Limited in Lagos, also buttressed the fact that the goods were mainly household consumables and industrial needs goods, which included electronics, cars, food items, chemicals, machinery and paper, among other.
Based on the figures, the import volume continued to in
BusinessDay findings show that the increase in the imported goods into the country can be attributed not only to the underdeveloped nature of the Nigerian manufacturing sector, including industries, but also due to the rise in the nation’s population, as well as the growth in the middle class.
According to the Maersk report, 50 percent of Nigerian non-oil imports originated from Far East Asia, especially from China; 25 percent came from Europe; ten percent from Middle East; eight percent from North America, while the remaining five percent originated from other places
Commenting on this, Jan Thorhauge, Managing Director of Maersk Nigeria Limited, the leading shipping line into Nigeria, said that in 2012 the containerised import
market to Nigeria is estimated to have ended at 383,000 forty foot equivalent units (FFE).
This, he said was following the significant 22 percent increase observed in 2011 over 2010 and would represent a relatively marginal year on year of 4 percent growth.
Habib Abdullahi, managing director of NPA, said that the rise in container throughput in Nigeria was as a result of the authority’s ability to fulfill its obligation of developing and maintaining port infrastructure, including common user facilities, as required by the concession agreement.
According to him, the authority has continued to undertake massive marine rehabilitation in the ports, in the area of laying of channel buoys, removal of all the identified critical wrecks within the channels and continuous maintenance dredging of the channels, to enable successful navigation into Nigerian ports. “These efforts have attracted more vessels, as safe and secure navigation has been guaranteed”.
The Maersk boss confirmed that the cargo growth is as a result of the major investments made in some terminals in the area of infrastructure, container handling equipment and terminal management software.