Rivers port receives 162 vessels in 2019 HI, may collapse soon ― NPA
The Nigerian Ports Authority (NPA) has revealed that the Rivers Port Complex received a total of 162 vessels between January to June of 2019.
This is even as the agency warned that the port has reached the end of its lifespan and may collapse soon if nothing is done to remedy it.
Disclosing this during a stakeholders meeting held in Port Harcourt, Rivers State recently, the Port Manager, Rivers Port Complex of the NPA, Engineer Yunusa Ibrahim stated that while Ports and Terminals Operations Limited (PTOL) handled 71 of the 162 vessels that called at the Rivers port, BUA Ports and Terminals Limited handled 43 vessels and the other jetties within the Rivers port handled about 48 vessels within the period under review.
According to Engineer Ibrahim, “at the Rivers Port Complex, we have two terminal operators namely PTOL and BUA while there are also many jetty operators here. On cargo throughput, PTOL handled 749,474teus while BUA handled 407, 341teus. Other jetties within the Rivers complex handled 502,107teus, making the total cargo throughput at the Rivers Port Complex between January to June of 2019 to be 1,659,722teus.
“On the average waiting time of vessels per day, PTOL has 0.89 while for BUA, it is 1.5. For average time for vessels at berth, it is 5.04 for PTOL while that of BUA is 4.61. The turnaround time for vessels at PTOL is 5.93 while for BUA, it is 6.06.
“For marine services, we thank the management for procuring new communication gadgets for the Eastern ports. However, from what we are getting from our Harbours department here in Rivers port, the signal from these new communication gadgets are not strong enough due to the fact that the communication tower is not high enough.
“We need the communication tower to be high enough to increase the communication signal so that we can keep in touch with vessels in distance nautical miles if they are in trouble.
“On towage services, we understand that management has procured new tug boats that will soon be deployed to the Rivers port for our use. On Pilot Cutters, the one we have is not in good condition and is being repaired to soon be deployed for use at the ports.
“On port and terminal expansion, the Authority recently discovered that the space given to the PTOL is no longer enough for the huge vessel traffic that is calling at the terminal. So we have identified a jetty that is formerly being used by Ibeto, and this will soon be approved and handed over to PTOL to make them meet the demands of vessel call at their terminal.”
Also speaking to newsmen after the meeting, Managing Director of the NPA, Hadiza Bala Usman revealed that the Rivers port has reached the end of its lifespan and may collapse soon if nothing is done.
In her words: “We have noted the fact that the quay walls along the Port Harcourt Port are weak and are at the point of collapse.
“We recently instituted a conditional survey and a report was sent to us that the Port Harcourt port has reached the end of its lifespan. Based on this conditional survey, the NPA is making a presentation to the Federal Ministry of Transportation and its board to institute a full rehabilitation and reconstruction of the port in totality.”