Fresh $100 million investment to boost Nigeria’s shipping sector
Fresh $100 million investment is under way by the West Africa Container Terminal (WACT), to buoy Nigerian terminal handling capacity in the next three years.
The funds will be deployed to acquiring more equipment for ports operations, and further lift the status of the Onne Port in Rivers State.
Managing Director, WACT, Aamir Mirza, who stated this during the company’s 20th anniversary celebration, said the need for further investment in cargo handling equipment is in response to the significant volume growth witnessed in the Eastern Nigerian market.
He said: “We are at that point where we will experience new changes. With more equipment coming in, the mode of operation will change, and we believe we are setting that up for the next 20 to 25 years so that we can serve our customers better in terms of service delivery, customer satisfaction and improved capacity.
“Right now, we are going to invest $100 million, and will continue to invest over the years. For example, in 2019, we did about $14 million and in previous years, we have been doing that regularly.”
He said WACT has done a lot of work in marketing Onne Port to the global community even as “the service level that the customers are getting in Onne is far superior to what they are getting elsewhere in Nigeria.”
Also speaking at the event, the Country Manager of APM Terminals Nigeria, Klaus Laursen, described as impressive the successes recorded by WACT over the years, linking it to the growth in Nigeria’s economy.
Laursen said: “There will be no cargo coming in or going out if it wasn’t for the economy of Nigeria. We serve only the population of Nigeria. So the first part of it is that Nigeria’s economy is still growing every year.
“If you look at Onne 20 years back, we would not have compared it to Lagos but today, because of our capabilities in terms of operation and equipment available and being able to handle bigger container vessels that are calling at Nigerian ports, we are increasingly becoming the preferred destination. With that, we can also put pressure on the West for them to do their job better. There is a huge market in the East, Central and North Nigeria that we can actually compete for with Lagos Ports and increasingly we are building the capabilities in the port.”
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