New Telegraph

Export: Foreign liners vie for Nigeria’s N1.7trn export cargoes

Hapag-Lloyd and Mediterranean Shipping Company (MSC) are in stiff compentition to grab Nigeria’s 1.19million tonnes of exports valued at N1.7trillion ($3.89billion) at the seaports.


The export includes sesame seed, soybeans, cocoa and cashew.


Findings revealed that Hapag-Lloyd had opened a new office in Lagos to create further growth and help exporters to ferry their cargoes to the world. In Lagos, Hapag-Lloyd calls at the ports Apapa and Tin Can Island.


Also, Mediterranean Shipping Company (MSC), which operates at the country’s seaports, has position itself to ship  out cocoa beans from the Port and Terminal Multi-services Limited (PTML) in order to offer its customers consistently high service all over the continent


It was gathered that the liners would compete to ship some 550, 000 tonnes od sesame seeds valued at N 602billion ($1.31billion); 285,000 tonnes of cocoa beans worth N371billion ($806.57million) and 350,000 metric tonnes of cashew nuts estimated at N249.6billion ($542.5 million). Also, Hapag-Lloyd’s major routes for the products include the Middle East India Africa Express (MIAX) and the Mediterranean West Africa Express (MWX).


Its Managing Director for West African area, Vishal Bundhun, who said that the company’s ships called at Tincan and Lagos ports, added that Nigeria was well-connected to the global Hapag-Lloyd network. He noted that the country’s main exports were cocoa beans, cashews and other agricultural products.


Some of the beans are being exported through the Lagos Port complex and Port and Terminal Multi-services Limited (PTML) of Tincan Island Port. Despite the opportunity available for the liners, more than 800 containers laden with export cargoes have been finding it difficult to access the port terminals due to port congestion and traffic gridlock.


Worried by this development, the Nigerian Shippers Council (NSC), Executive Secretary, Hassan Bello said that the council had facilitated some export cargoes to enter the port after staying for several days on the port roads. He said that the huge imports of containers at the port had made it difficult for ships to berth with new imports.


Bello called on government agencies in the nation’s seaports to facilitate the movement of export goods from hinterlands to ports. At a recent meeting with organised private sector (OPS) in Lagos, he said that government agencies including the Nigerian Export Promotion Council (NEPC), Nigerian Ports Authority (NPA), the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN), NSC and pre-inspection agents must come together to facilitate export cargo to the port. He said: “Export is going but not as expected.


We have the problem of export going into the port terminals. We cannot joke with export because most of them are perishable goods.


Nigerians are hardworking people and we cannot allow them to lose their investments just because of the bottleneck in moving their export cargo into the port.


“We need to fast track cargo movement into the port by using call-up system that works and this would also reduce the volume of traffic congestion around the port.


We have always said that there is no time for diversification but now because necessity is the mother of invention. Maritime, including the transport industry as a whole, is an alternative to oil but it has to be handled in a very efficient way. We cannot be joking with this industry in Nigeria anymore.”

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