Ben Eguzozie, in Port Harcourt
Abubakar Dantsoho, the new port manager at Onne Port complex, Rivers State, says he would work resolutely to shore up the revenue level of the terminal.
He however, did not indicate the revenue target expected from the port as part of Nigerian Ports Authority’s (NPA) revenue expectations for 2020.
Onne Port complex is home to three or four terminals: Federal Lighter Terminal (FLT), Federal Ocean Terminal (FOT), West African Container Terminal (WACT), among others.
The port’s business takings had gone up since December last year with the berthing of high capacity cargo vessels. It began with a 265-metre long gearless vessel, the first in Nigeria, berthing at the WACT terminal, Onne Port. On August 5, this year, the port made history with its hosting of the largest cargo vessel in any Nigerian port, the Maersk Stadelhorn, with 300 metres overall length and 48.2 metres beam and 10,000 TEUs carrying capacity. Earlier in January this year, a Pacific International Lines deployed a gearless container ship with 3,081 TEUs capacity, which called at the WACT terminal.
For the Customs Service (NCS), NPA’s counterpart at the ports, it is targeting to realise N140.2 billion from the Onne Port this year. Dantosho, took over from Alhassan Ismaila Abubakar, who has been moved to the Nigerian Ports Authority (NPA) Marina headquarters in Lagos.
He grew from the ranks at the NPA, working in the technical department in the office of the managing director of the NPA, Hadiza Bala-Usman until his appointment. The new Onne Port manager said his key objective is to shore up the revenue generation of the port and charged both staff and port users to make the target their watchword.
He lauded the heads of departments for appreciable work they have put in thus far at Onne Port, which he described as modern, considering that it controls more than 80 percent of the oil tanker vessels calling at Nigerian terminals, thereby competing favourably with Lagos.
Dantosho promised to take the achievements of his predecessor a notch further, and move the port to a position where it operates with standard operating procedures (SOPs), and get all actors in the oil and maritime sector to comply with extant rules and regulations.
The new port manager arrived from Lagos last Monday, and was received by Onne Port’s management team, including the acting port manager, Julius Agbo, principal manager, corporate and strategic communication, Barbara Ejemeh Nchey-Achukwu, heads of departments and some labour unions.
He noted that Onne Port was a thriving port, competing favourably in revenue generation next to Lagos ports.
Jonah Chukwu, the chairman of Maritime Workers Union of Nigeria (NWUN ) Onne Port chapter, intimated the new port manager of issues at the port, major among which is poor welfare packages for the staff.