It's on us. Share your news here.

Nigeria’s Calabar Port Hasn’t Received a Large Container Ship in 25 Years

Shipping containers

Posted on April 29, 2024

Olumati Festus, the manager of the Calabar Ports, says the port has not received any container vessels in the past 25 years.

Mr Festus made the statement on Friday in Calabar during an investigative visit to the port by the House of Representatives Ad hoc Committee on Ports and Harbours.

He said the Calabar channel had not been dredged to allow bigger vessels to enter the port.

Mr Festus said, “Bigger vessels can’t come in because of this. The situation is affecting the economy of the zone. If more vessels come into the port, the economy will receive a boost, more employment will be created.”

The port manager also listed the poor state of the road leading into Calabar as another challenge to the port’s effective use.

Mr Festus added, ”The access road into Calabar is a complete nightmare for cargo owners. A cargo bearing truck from Calabar to Akwa Ibom now takes between four and five hours. To remain afloat, we had to develop a technique: we ask vessels to come in only when the tides are high because any vessel that comes when the tide is low runs the risk of going under.

”The draft of the Calabar channel is about 5.2 meters which is quite shallow, it needs to be dredged to about nine metres to enable the vessels come in.”

Mr Festus urged the federal government to intervene by urgently tackling the challenges facing the port.

”When we assumed duty, the port only received about four to six vessels monthly, but we increased this number to about 20 to 21 vessels monthly.

”We achieved this by going out to different stakeholders in the industry to get them to use the port,” he said.

Responding, Nnaji Nnolim, leader of the delegation, said it was important to rehabilitate the Calabar Port and dredge its channels.

Mr Nnolim, representing Nkanu East/Nkanu West in the House of Representatives, said the government would soon commence a programme to rehabilitate ports.

”We shall ensure that Calabar Port benefits from this programme. This port is critical not only to Nigeria but to West Africa as a whole. It will create a lot of jobs if it is maximally operational. We are looking towards ensuring that its draft is dredged to about 9.5 metres,” he said.

Deputy Governor Peter Ode described the Calabar Port as an evacuation corridor for the Gulf of Guinea.


It's on us. Share your news here.
Submit Your News Today

Join Our
Click to Subscribe