A Seaport is known to be a maritime commercial facility that may comprise one or more wharves where ship may dock to load and also discharge passengers and cargo.
Seaports are the backbone of domestic and foreign commerce. In Nigeria, transportation through seaways accumulate to a total of 1 billion metric tons, majority of which constitute of petroleum products that contributes up to 80% to the Nigerian economy.
Major seaports in Nigeria are set up around the coastal areas of the country, which helps to boost foreign exchange trades and reserves of the nation to a significant value. The volume is achieved through the import and export of numerous kind of goods such as petroleum products, food, textile, technological equipment etc.
Seaport in Nigeria is regulated by Nigeria Ports Authority (NPA), which is a Federal Government agency that governs and operates the seaport in Nigeria. It was founded in 1954, following the implementation of the Ports Act of 1954 mainly to Regulate the ports industry of Nigerian.
The seaports in Nigeria are:
Lagos Port Complex
Also referred to as Apapa quays, was founded in 1913 before the amalgamation of the northern and southern protectorate in Nigeria.
One of the port’s best features is that it can be accessed using all the modes of transportation in Nigeria. This feature makes it one of the largest seaports in Nigeria. The operations of the port were initially handled by the government until 2006 when its terminals were handed over to private parties and they are:
- AP Moller Terminal Ltd. (APMT).
- ENL Consortium Ltd. (ENL).
- Apapa Bulk Terminal Ltd. (ABTL).
- Greenview Development Nigeria Limited (GDNL).
- Lilypond Inland Container Terminal.
Tin Can Island Port
Tin Can Island Port is also located in Lagos, exactly 7 kilometers northwest of Lagos Port Complex.
It started operation in 1977, when the country experienced increase in the economic activities during the oil boom coupled with the post-civil war reconstruction. This led to high volume of import and export that resulted to serious Port congestion, the government due to the situation decongest the Port; by constructing a new Port on Tin Can Island with the capacity of handling 10-16 vessels at a time with the main port complex occupying a total area of 73 hectres.
The port has 5 terminals and they are
- Josephdam Port Services Limited.
- Tin Can Island Container Limited.
- Port & Cargo Handling Service Limited.
- Five Star Logistics Limited.
- Port and Terminal Multi Services Limited (PTML).
Calabar Port Complex
Located in the city of Calabar, Cross River State in the southeast corner of Nigeria, Calabar is an ancient city known to be home of the Eastern Naval Command of the Nigerian Navy. Port facilities are located 55 nautical miles up the Calabar River.
The three terminals of Calabar ports are operated by the following terminal operators:
- ECM Terminal Limited.
- Intel Nigeria Limited.
- Shoreline Logistics Nigeria Limited.
Rivers Port Complex
The Rivers Port Complex in coastal Rivers State situated in the Gulf of Guinea. It started from a beginning; evolving from one berth for coal export; to four berths to handle a cargo mix of import/export merchandise.
According to NPA, the Port with a quay length of 1,259 is capable of accommodating eight modern sea-going vessels loading and discharging at the same time.
Rivers port have 2 private terminal operators namely:
- Port and Terminal Operators Limited.
- BUA Port and Terminal Nigeria Limited.
Delta Port Complex
Delta Port is located in the petroleum and natural gas producing Niger River Delta region of the country. Delta Port is in Delta State includes other minin ports of Warri, Burutu, Sapele and petroleum terminals at Escravos and Forcados.
The Onne port is also situated in Rivers State. It is one of the largest oil and gas free zone in the world supporting exploration and production of Nigeria activities. The Onne port consists of two major facilities
- Federal Ocean Terminal.
- Federal Lighter Terminal.
According to the Nigerian Ports Authority, seaports contribute over N143 billion to the Federal reserves, generate more than a million jobs directly or indirectly to Nigerians and play a great role in the domestic and international economy.