THE APAPA WHARF – NIGERIA’S KING OF PORTS

The Ports in Nigeria play a crucial role in socio-economic development by being the cheapest mode of transferring cargoes for importation and exportation. The average number of vessels that enter the Nigerian ports yearly is about 4,876.

The major Nigerian imports include industrial supplies, capital goods, fuel and lubricants, vehicles, transport equipment and consumer goods. Most of the imports come in from Europe, Asia, Africa and America.

The Nigerian Ports Authority (NPA) is a federal government agency that governs and operates the ports in Nigeria under the supervision of Federal Ministry of Transportation.

The Apapa Wharf is home to the oldest and largest ports in Nigeria. It is the fourth busiest port in Africa. The activities at the Apapa Wharf however largely contributes to the constant gridlock in the Apapa axis. Other ports in Nigeria include: Calabar Port Complex, Cross River Port, Delta Port, Warri Port, Rivers Port Complex and Onne Port Complex. Other ports in Nigeria include: Calabar Port Complex, Cross River Port, Delta Ports, Warri, Rivers Port Complex and Onne Port Complex.

The Ports located in Apapa Wharf are Lagos Port Complex and Tin Can Island Port Complex.  The Lagos Port Complex, also known as Premier Port or Apapa Quays was established in 1913. It is the first and largest port in Nigeria. The port presently has 5 terminals which are privately owned. This reform was brought about by the Federal government by an initiative called “The Landlord Port Model” as an imperative to improve operational activities. The aim of this model is to transfer cargo operational obligations to private operators while retaining public ownership of the port infrastructure.

Tin Can Island Port, the second largest port in Nigeria was commissioned in 1975 due to an increase in economic activities which led to a high influx of imports and exports which further caused port congestions. In 2006, Roro and Tin Can Island ports merged to become Tin Can Island Port. An agreement was also made with the Federal government to adopt the Landlord model which is a concession that split the terminal into five that are presently privately owned.

The total revenue obtained from Customs & Excise duties in 2018 was N1.1 trillion. A substantial amount of this was obtained from the several ports in Nigeria from importation into the country. Apapa Wharf is estimated to have contributed at least 50% of this revenue. The Federal government’s share of revenue in 2019 from Customs is projected to be about N305.55 billion.