Nigerian ports

For a country trying to diversify its exports and foreign exchange earnings, Nigeria’s seaports are seriously deficient.

According to the Nigerian Ports Authority (NPA), the country has six seaports: Apapa and Tin Can in Lagos, the Onne and Port-Harcourt ports in Rivers State, the Warri Port, and the Calabar Port. But, by many accounts, only the Lagos ports are operating anywhere near full capacity.

The Apapa and Tin Can Ports account for 70% of imports on average. The Lagos ports are most active because it is the economic capital of the country.

Nigerian ports are categorised into two types – the Western Port and the Eastern Port. The categorisation is used to identify the location of ports in Nigeria.

The Western Port comprises Apapa Port Complex, Lagos and the Tin-can Island Port Complex, Lagos. Both ports have five terminals, with each terminal designed and approved to handle specified cargo contained in the lease agreement ranging from bulk, general cargo, container to ro-ro. The ports in Western Port are designed as gateway ports.

The Eastern Port comprises Rivers Port, Onne Port, Calabar Port and Delta Ports. The Rivers Port has two terminals that handle liquid, dry and bulk cargoes. Onne Port, on the other hand, is one of the largest oil and gas free zone ports in the world and has four terminals that handle container, oil and gas, dry or wet bulk as well as general cargoes and other logistic services. Delta Port has eight terminals, which are approved to handle multipurpose cargoes, while Calabar Port has three terminals and they mainly handle oil and gas cargoes. The ports in the Eastern Port are designed as gateway ports.

There are, however, numerous other private jetties within the vicinity of these ports that are mainly used for receiving oil tankers that discharge refined oil and gas cargoes into tank farms.


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