A port terminal in Lagos

Francis Ezem

The Nigerian Ports Authority NPA has said that the country’s port tariffs are lower than those of Ghana, Togo and many other countries charge higher tariffs, contrary to misconceptions in which it was alleged that Nigeria operates the highest port tariff structure within the West African coast.

Recall that NPA had in May 2019 commissioned Messers Crown Agents with the support of United Kingdom Aid produced the result of an assessment which revealed that it is cheaper to berth general and container vessels in Nigeria’s ports than it is in Ghana and Togo.

Details of the report show that while it costs $94,567.63 VAT inclusive to berth a general cargo vessel with GRT of 26,770, LOA at 196m and cargo of 14,100 MT in Nigeria’s seaports for instance, ports in Ghana and Togo charge $217,879.07 and $120, 357.58 exclusive of VAT for the same types of cargo respectively.

Similarly, while the NPA charges $108, 806.90 VAT inclusive on a container vessel with 39,906 GRT, LOA of 261m carrying 172×20” and 139×40” containers, ports in Ghana and Togo charge $117,906.58 and $128,406.94 exclusive of VAT respectively.

A statement by the General Manager of the authority, Corporate and Strategic Communications of NPA, Jatto Adams reads in part: “NPA would also want to reiterate that apart from towage dues, which were reviewed to cover the cost of providing the service in 2015, our tariffs have remained the same since 1993. This is also in spite of the erroneous inclusion of Stevedoring charges, which are collected by terminal operators as the authority’s component.

“Costs such as freight rates and terminal handling charges are components outside the purview of the Nigerian Ports Authority, which has no powers to regulate economic activities at the ports.

“The NPA assures its customers and all port users of its commitment to the ease of doing business policy of the President Muhammadu Buhari- administration and is working to enhance the competitiveness of all Nigeria’s seaports”.