Volume of imported vehicles drops 27% to 55,963 units in third quarter 2018

…As ship traffic drops by 7.3%

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The volume of imported new and used vehicles dropped by 27 percent in the third quarter of last year, on year-on-year basis, Nigerian Ports Authority (NPA) 2018 third quarter operational performance report, has revealed.

The volume dropped from 76,626 units recorded in third quarter of 2017 to 55,963 units brought into the country in third quarter of 2018, the report said.

The report, which was obtained by SHIPS & PORTS, revealed that operational activities in the nation’s seaport recorded a significant drop in the quarter under review as the number of vessels that called at the ports dropped by 7.3 percent to 969 when compared to 1,045 recorded in the corresponding period of 2017.

It further stated that the gross registered tonnage of vessels completed stood at 31,747,589, representing a drop of 7 percent over the corresponding period of 2017.

In terms of containerised imports, the report, puts container throughput at 368, 976 TEUs, showing a drop of 9.9 percent from 409,454 Twenty-foot equivalent units (TEUs)

However, despite the decrease in ship traffic, the port recorded a marginal increase of 0.5 percent in cargo throughput with 18,336,786 metric tons over the 18,257,730 metric tons handled in the third quarter of 2017. The increase, according to the NPA report, was due to increase in service boat operations.

A breakdown of the cargo throughput within the review period showed that Liquefied Natural Gas (LNG) shipment stood at 5,574,845 metric tons, a slight increase of 0.4 percent over 5,551,151 metric tons recorded in the corresponding period of 2017.

General cargo recorded stood at 2,113,578 metric tons, an increase of 43.3 percent over the 1,474,669 metric tons handled in the third quarter of 2017.

Dry bulk stood at 2, 444,687 metric tons, a decrease of 8.3 percent from 2, 666,953 metric tons while refined petroleum stood at 4, 228, 720 metric tons, a decline of 8.4 percent from 4, 616, 155 metric tons over the third quarter of 2017.

On why volume is dropping, Hadiza Bala-Usman, managing director of the NPA, said that the nation’s seaports were losing ship and cargo traffic because of government policies that are discouraging importation.

“We have noted a reduction in traffic coming into our ports. We attribute this to the fact that Nigeria has been advocating for self-sustenance in terms of manufacturing and consuming what it produces,” said Bala-Usman during NPA’s 2019 budget defence before the House of Representatives Committee on Ports, Harbours and Waterways in Abuja.

“And so, this attendant reduction in cargo, in our understanding, is attributable to that because some of the items that constitute this drop include for example, the automobile policy, which had increased the cost of importation of automobiles from 30 to 70 percent in order to stimulate manufacturing in Nigeria. So, there is a steep decline in the importation of vehicles,” he said.

According to her, there is an additional list of items that have been banned from importation in order to stimulate production of certain items in the country and also ensure that most agric produce are consumed in Nigeria.

“So you can see the number of ocean going vessels is reducing. The agencies that work around revenue generation for importation of cargo will be seen not to have performed,” she said.

Bala-Usman disclosed that the projected internally generated revenue of NPA for 2019 was N276.75 billion while net revenue from oil source is N255.69 billion. The organisation’s total expenditure for the year, she further disclosed, is estimated at N229.91billion.

This is made up of N110.71 billion for operating expenses; N52.13 billion for overhead costs; N58.8 billion for pension cost and N119.21 billion for capital expenditure.

She said NPA plans to remit N20.62 billion into the Consolidated Revenue Fund (CRF) from its projected 2019 operating surplus of N25.77 billion.

Patrick Asadu, chairman of the House Committee on Ports, Harbours and Waterways, however, blamed poor cargo clearing processes at the port for the drop in cargo volumes.

“I do not want us to just dismiss this. You may want to look to see what other things are going on. I think maybe we should look at things like efficiency of cargo clearance. We know what is going on with the congestions at the ports. I have no doubt in my mind that there are a lot of other factors,” he added.

Meanwhile, the NPA boss disclosed that the authority wants to make all our ports viable, competitive and to conform to the Ease of Doing Business policy of the Federal Government.

“With the commitment exhibited by NPA management, it is hopeful that the downward trend in port activities would soon be reversed,” she added.

APM Terminals Inland Services to integrate into Maersk Logistics in August

In line with its plans to provide customers with seamless access to a wider range of logistics & service offerings, AP Moller – Maersk said it had perfected plans to integrate APM Terminals Inland Services into Maersk Logistics & Services from 1 August 2019.

By implication, bringing together all operations skills and capabilities within logistics will create a base for growth and enable Maersk to excel in the execution within Logistics & Services products.

This is the next step for A.P. Moller – Maersk in the implementation of its strategy to offer end-to-end solutions to its customers, the company says.

“APM Terminals can fully focus on becoming a world-class port operator, while Maersk, with the integration of inland services, will continue to focus on ocean transportation as well as logistics and service product development and delivery,” says Søren Toft, executive vice president/ chief operating officer, A.P. Moller – Maersk.

By structurally adding inland services to Maersk, Toft said customers would have a seamless access to a wider range of logistics and services offerings.

“It will put Maersk in an even better position to differentiate its offering and scale the Logistics & Services portfolio to an even broader customer base,” Toft added.

APM Terminals will continue to serve shipping line and landside customers with services on and around the port premises such as traditional storage and terminal handling as well as newly developed services such as fast-gates. While focusing on its core offering, APM Terminals is also continuing to collaborate with Maersk for customers who are looking for end-to-end solutions.

“The even closer collaboration enables both APM Terminals and Maersk to reduce complexity and eliminate service overlaps, so that both brands can focus on their core strengths and provide greater value and better experience to customers,” says Morten Engelstoft, CEO APM Terminals.

The inland services portfolio is a network of inland terminals around the globe consisting of 36 business units with over 100 locations. Today, it offers a vast array of services for both shipping line customers and landside customers.

For shipping line customers, the offering of inland services centres on depot, container equipment maintenance and repair and transportation. For landside customers, inland services is supporting these customers by integrating their supply chains locally through services such as transportation solutions, CFS and warehouse, depots and temperature-controlled handling and storage environments.

Nigeria, Togo, Ghana, others lose $777m annually to piracy — UNODC

Nigeria, Togo, Ghana and other countries in the Gulf of Guinea regions lose US$777.1 million to piracy and other maritime crimes annually, says the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC) report.

This was contrary to the recent position held by Dakuku Peterside, director-general of the Nigerian Maritime Administration and Safety Agency (NIMASA), which said that piracy and other maritime crimes have reduced drastically in the Nigerian maritime domain, making it safer for investment.

He said measures such as the deep blue project, which covers every aspect of maritime security, are being put in place to move the Nigerian maritime sector forward.

Gulf of Guinea, which is located in the northeastern part of the tropical Atlantic Ocean, is made up of coastal countries including Liberia, Ivory Coast, Ghana, Togo, Benin, Nigeria and Cameroon. Others include Equatorial Guinea, Gabon, Sao Tome and Principe, Congo Republic, Congo DR and Angola.

The report, which was released by Sylvester Atere, Outreach and Communications Officer of UNODC in Nigeria, said the annual lost was in addition to human costs experienced due to escalation of piracy, kidnapping and armed robbery at sea within the region.

According to the report, countries in the region lost a total of US$2.3 billion to maritime crimes between 2015 and 2017.

The report further revealed that pirate attack in the region more than doubled in 2018, accounting for all six hijacks worldwide; 13 of the 18 ships fired upon; 130 of the 141 hostages taken globally and 78 of 83 seafarers kidnapped for ransom.

“In the last three months of 2018, 41 kidnappings were recorded in waters off Nigeria alone. In October 2018, 11 crew members were kidnapped from a container vessel 70 nautical miles off Bonny Island, Nigeria.

 

AMAKA ANAGOR-EWUZIE

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