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Cargo throughput records lowest performance in 2018

Cargo throughput, excluding crude oil, at Nigerian ports, witnessed the lowest performance in 2018 with a total of 35.9m tonnes.

This was against the 2014 figure where cargo throughput witnessed the highest climb with 84.9m tonnes.

According to the Maritime Industry Forecast for 2019-2020 released by the Nigerian Maritime Administration and Safety Agency, NIMASA, port usage has seen a decline in recent years.

Analysis of the figures released by NIMASA shows that while cargo throughput stood above 60m tonnes in 2008, the figure increased to about 65m in 2009. It climbed above 75m in 2010, increased to over 80m in 2011 but declined to about 70m in 2012. In 2013 it rose above 70m and peaked at 84.9m in 2014. From 2015, the figure declined to about 70m, also declined to about 60m in 2016, stood at about 60m in 2017 to finally fall to 30m tonnes in 2018.

NIMASA in its Maritime Industry Forecast stated, “Port usage nevertheless has seen a decline in recent years according to the Nigerian Ports Authority, NPA, which owns the eight ports complexes across the country.

According to data sourced from the website of the Nigerian Ports Authority, while cargo throughput excluding crude oil rose to its highest point in 2014 with 84.9mn tonnes, there has been a decline in preceding years with provisional data for 2018 standing at 35.9m tonnes (January to September)

“External factors remain the key reason for the decline experienced in Nigeria’s port usage. The volatile nature of international crude oil prices, led to a fall in the value of naira against other international currencies especially the dollar and, has also reduced domestic demand for imports. Likewise, imports ban on certain consumer goods – which was part of the government’s efforts to encourage domestic production and reduce the country’s trade deficit – has also had impact.

“These policies, including the ban on import on certain products, were intended to increase value addition and domestic production, and this is supported by the fact that ships calling into Nigerian ports typically leave empty, as was the case for 1.6m tones outward containerized cargo against 5.1m tonnes inward containerized cargo in 2018, according to the NPA.”