APM Terminals Apapa says it is investing about N65 billion to acquire more equipment to cope with the significant growth at the Lagos Port.
The company had placed orders for the equipment which will arrive this month, noting that the first batch of three cranes had since arrived last month.
The Managing Director of APM Terminals Apapa, Mr. Martin Jacob disclosed this on Monday while making a clarification on a report that the Nigerian Ports Authority (NPA) had issued a 30-day ultimatum to the terminal operator to address alleged lapses, which has reportedly resulted in port congestion.
The ultimatum, which was reportedly given to the company last month, would expire this week.
According to Jacob, “Due to the conducive economic environment coupled with the closure of the border with Benin, Lagos ports witnessed a spike in volume as cargo was diverted from Cotonou, with periods such as October witnessing up to 50% Year-on-Year growth of imports.
“APM Terminals Apapa has expedited the investment in additional equipment, with the first batch of three cranes already in operation after arriving within the last month.
“A further five cranes are scheduled to arrive within the next few weeks to not only handle the ocean-going vessels but also inject much needed capacity for the needed barging.
“The current investment phase, which will cover yard expansion apart from equipment will cost about N65 billion.
“APM Terminals Apapa is committed to delivering the Nigeria Ports Authority’s vision in enhancing the country’s maritime sector.”
In 2006, APM Terminals Apapa was awarded the concession to manage, operate and develop the Apapa container terminal at the Lagos Port Complex, after the Federal Government concessioned Nigerian ports with the purpose of improving port services through private investment and expertise. The 55-hectare facility has 1,005m quay length, 13.5m draft alongside with an annual handling capacity of 1.2million TEU.
So far, APM Terminals Apapa said it had invested N130billion in infrastructure, IT upgrades and modern container handling equipment to improve both quayside and landside operations.
The Nigerian Ports Authority (NPA) is reported take over the operations of AP Moller Terminals (APMT) this week after the expiration of the 30-day ultimatum given to the firm by NPA to address inefficiency at its terminal, which has resulted in port congestion and Apapa gridlock.
NPA is reported to have written
AP Moller’s parent company in The Hague, Netherlands, expressing its
frustration about the inadequacy of cargo handling equipment at APM Terminals.
It has also threatened that it would not hesitate to bring to fore the non-compliance clause in the 2006 port concession agreement to protect the interest of the port users.
The clause empowers NPA to
take over the operations of APM in the event of its failure to meet the terms
of the concession agreement.
The ultimatum, which was given to the company last month, would expire this week following which the NPA will take over the operations at the terminal.