ENL Consortium Nigeria Limited has signed an agreement with Lianyungang Port Holding Group Ltd, a Chinese port operator, to expand investment at the Lagos Port Complex Apapa (LPC) and boost trade between both countries.
ENL operates Terminals C and D at LPC and Lianyungang Port Holding provides terminal handling, modern logistics, port construction, and other services in China.
The agreement signing took place recently at the 6th China-Nigeria Logistics Line Supply Chain Platform Advanced Forum organised by Sinoma International Engineering Co., Ltd in Lianyungang, Jiangsu province, China, organised as part of activities to commemorate the 10th anniversary of China’s Belt and Road Initiative.
Speaking during the agreement signing ceremony, Mark Walsh, executive director of ENL Consortium, said it was pivotal to acknowledge the strides made in fostering international cooperation and enhancing the connectivity of global supply chains.
He said the Belt and Road initiative has not only bridged the infrastructural gap in the two great nations but also facilitated economic growth and mutual development.
He said over the past 17 years, port concession in Nigeria’s maritime sector has been a journey of both triumphs and challenges.
Walsh listed the gains of port concession to include enhanced port infrastructure, improved operational efficiency, job creation, and increased revenue generation while the pains include initial resistance, regulatory hurdles, and security concerns, which taught us invaluable lessons.
He said ENL has been at the forefront of adopting innovative models in local transportation, refining port operations, and enhancing the warehousing system to solve prevailing challenges and streamline operations.
Walsh said collaboration, both local and international, is pivotal in harnessing Nigeria’s maritime potential.
“Our partnership with organisations like Lianyungang Port Group and Sinoma International Engineering is a testament to the power of collective wisdom and innovation in empowering the Maritime Silk Road.
“In 2018, ENL Consortium entered into a partnership with Sinoma Cargo International, a Chinese logistics giant, to facilitate the evacuation of cargo from the Lagos Port Complex using barges. This was aimed at alleviating the persistent gridlock on the port access roads in Apapa and ensuring a more efficient cargo evacuation process.
Lianyungang Port, one of the top 10 ports in China and among the 30 largest globally, boasts a cargo throughput of 210 million tons per year and a container throughput of 5 million TEU per year.
Walsh said the alliance with Lianyungang Port provided a transfer of expertise and stevedoring knowledge that has been instrumental in aiding cargo handling in Apapa Port and facilitating international trade.
“ENL has consistently sought innovative solutions to enhance port operations. Our partnership with Sinoma Cargo and Lianyungang Port has not only facilitated the efficient evacuation of cargo but also promoted mutual cooperation and exchange between our ports, thereby enhancing our operational logistics and contributing to the overall success of the Belt and Road Initiative to Nigeria,” he said.