WACT Expends N3.6bn On Onne Port Upgrade
The West Africa Container Terminal has unveiled two new Mobile Harbour Cranes worth $10m (N3.6bn) for discharge of cargoes at the terminal.
The MHCs coming on the heels of 10 new specialised terminal trucks and two new reach stackers would be expected to increase the turnaround time of vessels at the terminal, the firm noted in a statement on Wednesday.
The Managing Director, WACT, Aamir Mirza, said the massive investment at the terminal had attracted 700 direct and 2000 indirect jobs in the country.
He said the company had recorded tremendous growth of 17 per cent in 2017; 21 per cent in 2018; and 20 per cent this year.
“Our vision is to make WACT the best performing container terminal in West Africa. We believe this vision can be realised early enough if the government can support us to reduce the challenges of security by ensuring the safety of vessels on our waters, and improving road connectivity, among others,” he said.
According to Mirza, the cranes will enable volume growth resulting in increased productivity; reduce port stay and provide bunker savings; improve reliability in cargo delivery times; reduce the impact of crane breakdown/idle time on overall terminal operations; and increase customers’ satisfaction and speedy delivery.
The Executive Secretary of the Nigerian Shippers’ Council, Hassan Bello, said the new cranes would aid efficiency and improve vessels’ turnaround time at the terminal.
He reiterated the Federal Government’s commitment to encourage more importers to patronise Onne Port, adding that government was determined to see shipping making significant contributions to the economy.
He said, “Our terminals need to grow and show efficiency. I am happy with the competition because this is how to compete. We need options, choice for shippers where they will discharge their cargoes.
“The inauguration of these mobiles harbour cranes is no doubt significant because it will improve efficiency.
The Managing Director, Oil and Gas Free Zone Authority, Okon Umana, lauded WACT for making the nation to meet the objectives of establishing the free zone.
He promised to run the free zone in a professional manner with the provision of dedicated power to the zone for efficient service delivery.
The Managing Director, Nigerian Ports Authority, Hadiza Bala-Usman, who was represented by the Onne Port Manager, Al-Hassan Ismaila, said the government was looking into the security of vessels on the nation’s high sea.
“The Onne Port is a nexus to connecting the North-East, North-Central, South-South and South-East; so, cargoes for this section of the country are expected to be discharged through this port.
“We are calling on shippers to patronise the Onne Port because of the friendly environment, and the synergy between the agencies of government operating at the port,” she added.