Shipping: Delta Port Worker List Reasons Why NPA’s 10% Rebate Failed
Fred Omotara, Lagos
A port worker at the Delta port, Mr. Andrew Efe has blamed lack of enough export cargoes, shallow channel and insecurity for the failure of the 10 percent rebate introduced by the Nigerian Ports Authority (NPA) to boost shipping activities in Nigeria’s Eastern ports.
Speaking with kadecommunicationng exclusively, Mr. Efe explained that freight costs becomes doubled for cargo owners once there is no commensurate export to be taken out of the ports.
According to Efe who does stevedoring jobs at the Delta port, “The Federal Government through the NPA, has offered concessions up to 10 percent cuts on harbors dues for ships just to encourage the use of the eastern ports.
“But then again, trading is both ways —input & output. It is both import & export. Freight cost is doubled if there’s no commensurate export to be taken out.
“So when the shipping lines see that there is not enough exports to be taken out of these ports, they slam double freight charges on the cargoes. That’s why cargo owners will prefer Lagos to any of the eastern ports.
Another issue is the length of the channels of most of the eastern ports. From the fairway buoys (high sea) to all the ports in the east is an average of 100km distance.
” For Delta port, it is 110km; For Calabar Port, it is 101km; For Rivers ports, it is 90km; whereas both Tin-Can and Apapa ports have barely a 10km distance from the fairway bouy to the ports.
“So due to these distance, the cost of constantly dredging the navigational channels of the eastern ports is high.
“Another issue confronting Delta Port particularly is that the port has a niptide which basically means low tide. It’s natural. Once that happens, ships can’t come in.
“For Warri port, there is an active NNPC pipeline buried 7m beneath the channel. So, NPA cannot dredge beyond that. There is also a problem of a collapsed breakwater.
“Finally, the problem of insecurity faces all the ports in the east. Insecurity around the waterways is not too good. After 6pm, no vessels comes into the ports.”