Spiraling inflation and the declining value of the naira has eroded the value of seaport terminal operators’ earnings by about 238% over the past ten years, according to a new industry report which is about to be published by a leading consultancy firm.
The report indicates that the terminal operators, who have invested over N200billion between 2006 and 2015, have lost an estimated N58.9billion in earnings over the period.
The report also identified insufficient power supply, dilapidated port access roads; traffic gridlock and uncertainty of policy direction, among others as some challenges hindering port operations in the country.
According to the report, the 2006 port concession had resulted in significant improvement in port operations in the country.
“For example, there has been the emergence of larger vessels with improved cost effectiveness, improved cargo-handling technology and delivery speed as well as reduced unit freight cost.
“In addition, the concession has increased Nigeria’s port competitiveness, reduced waiting time for ships and enhanced movement of goods across international borders and offshore manufacturing,” it stated.
The report further explained that the sector witnessed increased participation of foreign and private investors in terminal operations, investment in new port facilities and equipment as well as investment in automated computer tracking system and establishment of new ports.
Explaining further, the report said private sector developments and Nigerian Ports Authority (NPA) were responsible for the improvement in the overall key performance indicators (KPIs) at the ports, including ship waiting time, ship turn around time, dwell time, container moves per hour, customs examination time and overall cargo clearance time.