By Samson Echenim
Nigeria’s sea port of Warri has kept an upbeat activity following an improved outlook that began in July, as no fewer than 13 ships laden with various cargoes, including fuel, fish and glass are expected to berth at the port this month.
According Nigerian Ports Authority data released on Wednesday, eight vessels carrying various goods are expected to hit the Warri port before end of September, while five others are either awaiting berth at Anchorage, or Fairway Buoy.
Vessels billed for Warri port include 119-metre Gremio, loaded with 3,000 tonnes of Butane; Cansandra with 600 tonnes of tiles and glasses; Iver Action, which is laden with 3,348 tonnes of bitumen and Capela, carrying 1,593 tonnes of frozen fish.
NPA’s daily shipping position also showed that motor vessel, 182-metre Abiola will be bringing 12,000 tonnes of crude oil to Warri port; Ocean Gladiator is bringing 13,500 tonnes of PMS (petrol), while Matrix Ilu is also bringing 15,000 tonnes of PMS. A container vessel, UAL is also expect to arrive Warri port this month, while St Nene laden with 10,000 tonnes of Automative Gas Oil (AGO) commonly known as diesel.
Vessels awaiting berth at anchorage are 175-metre Remi, 183-metre Igbinosa and Biskra which are laden with crude oil and bitumen.
According to the NPA statistics, a 130-metre ship, Notus is currently awaiting berth at the Fair Buoy, Warri port and is carrying at least, 7,100 tonnes of petroleum motor spirit (fuel).
Warri Port is one commonly referred to as Delta Port by the NPA. Hadiza Usman had said reduction in sea piracy and security breaches in the Delta Ports area brought about the positive development.
Simeon Okeke, manager, Delta Ports, said the NPA had done replacement of the critical buoys that were critically missing, rehabilitation of port facilities, illumination of the port, the repossession and ejection of illegal occupant from the trailer park, among others.
“In no distant future, towage services would be efficiently handled as same had been given to a third party. Efforts are at a conclusive stage for the company to begin work. Documentation and payment processes have also been improved upon by the management through e-payment, e-SEN and Revenue Invoicing Management System (RIMS),” Okeke said.
However, some of the firms operating at the terminals expressed concerns over the depth of the channels within the terminals, which had barred heavy vessels from berthing at the terminals.
They warned that unless the channel is dredged by at least nine metres, there would be low or no activity at the terminal.
Henry Ajor, general manager of one of the terminals, said: “If we are to lessen the maritime traffic in the Lagos ports by using the Warri port, the channel within the port must be dredged to handle bigger vessels. If we want to increase business in Warri, which is critical to Delta, we need to dredge the terminal so that bigger vessels can come in.”