By Samson Echenim
Nigeria, Africa’s largest economy by gross domestic product is offering ships 10 percent discounts in ship harbour fees to call at its eastern seaports in Cross River, Rivers and Delta states in a move seen as aiming to expand the markets in the region.
The country’s ports managers, the Nigerian Ports Authority announced the approval of the discount business a.m. sources said.
The tariffs cut is a clear move by the seaport management authority to encourage importers to use the ports in the eastern part of the country rather than over burdening the ports in Lagos.
The gesture will also create market for the ports which thermals remain empty for most part of the year.
The ports to benefit from the tariff cut are Calabar Port, Rivers Port in Port Harcourt, Onne Port in Rivers State and Warri Port in Delta State.
According to the NPA General Manager, Corporate and Strategic Communications, Jatto Adams, the types of vessels and cargoes that would enjoy the 10 per cent discount include container vessels with at least 250 20-foot equivalent units, general cargo vessels with at least 16,000 metric tonnes, combo vessels with at least 16,000 MT and roll-on-roll-off vessels with at least 250 units of vehicles.
“These discounts shall not apply to vessels coming inballast (without any cargo), vessels calling at private jetties, and vessels calling carrying liquid bulk,” Adams said in a statement.
Twelve years after the concession of the ports, Calabar, Rivers and Warri ports have remained with very low patronage due mostly to low depth that makes it impossible for big vessels to call. Billions of naira have been spent dredging the ports with the efforts yielding only controversies.
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