Ships traffic at Nigeria ports on downward trend

Matthew Otoijagha
The Nigerian Bureau of Statistics (NBS) has revealed that ship traffic at the seaports is on a downward trend.
The Nigerian Ports Statistics 2012-2017 released by the NBS recently showed that ship traffic at the ports recorded a total of 4,175 ocean going vessels in 2017 as against 4,622 in 2016.
Also, the Gross Registered Tonnage (GRT) followed the downward trend with 131,569,821 in 2017 as against 134,2,13,076 recorded in 2016. However, the traffic for service boats recorded an increase with a total of 12,243 in 2017, as against 9,418 service boats in 2016.
The statistics revealed a total of 71,903,266 cargo traffic recorded at all ports in 2017 as against 70,819,092 in 2016. According to the report, about 43,019,889 of the cargo traffic came as inwards, while 28,883,377 were outward.
A total of 181,404 vehicle traffics were recorded in 2017 at all the ports as against 105,189 and 131,994 vehicle traffic in 2016 and 2015. Classification of data, according to the seaports, revealed that the Calabar Port complex has really suffered from the shallow water level due to controversies surrounding the dredging of the channel.
NBS revealed that the cargo throughput in 2017 was highest at Onne Port with 25,836,246; followed by Apapa Port with 18,909,238; TinCan Island Port was third with 15,520,920. Delta had 6,015,333; Rivers recorded 3,462,421 and Calabar came last with a paltry 2,159,099.
The number of passenger traffic at the Calabar Port within the period under review was put at 6,704 in 2017 as against 7,442 in 2016. Ship traffic record of ocean going vessels in the five-year analysis showed a downward slope from 4,837 in 2012 to 4,175 in 2017. The GRT increased from 120,818,683 in 2012 to 131,569,821 in 2017.
The Calabar Port, which is one of the Eastern ports, has remained dormant for years thus forcing importers and exporters to risk the deplorable roads and go to Onne or Lagos.

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