Nigeria Ports in Pact with Port of Antwerp
The Antwerp port community and its various partners are currently on a trade mission to West-Africa, including Benin and Nigeria.
A collaboration agreement was signed between Port of Antwerp International (PAI), the consultancy and investment subsidiary of Port of Antwerp, and APEC, its maritime training center, and Nigerian Ports Authority, which manages the 6 ports of Nigeria. This collaboration, which will mainly take the form of training and consulting, underlines the leading role that the port of Antwerp plays in West Africa.
The port of Antwerp is known in Africa as the maritime center of Europe, thanks to the numerous supply chain connections. The synergy between maritime, logistics and industrial activities creates a unique platform. Out of all the ports in North-West Europe, Antwerp has the highest number of direct services to West Africa.
The annual volume of West African freight in Antwerp amounts to almost 17 million tonnes resulting in a market share of 31%. Nigeria, with a volume of over 6 million tonnes, accounts for the largest part. All trends and indicators show that this share in the statistics will continue to grow in the coming years.
As part of the mission, the delegation visited the port of Lagos today. Before the guided tour of the port, Kristof Waterschoot, CEO of PAI and APEC, and Hadiza Bala Usman, CEO Nigerian Ports Authority signed the MoU, the collaboration agreement between both ports.
Under the terms of this agreement the port of Antwerp will play an advisory role with regard to the further development of the port of Lagos. In addition, structural training will play an important role.
Several port professionals from Lagos have already come over to Antwerp for tailor-made trainings by APEC. This training center of the port of Antwerp organizes tailor-made training courses for maritime personnel worldwide in view of maximizing the efficiency of port operations.
Kristof Waterschoot, CEO of PAI and APEC, said: "We see a lot of potential in the port of Lagos. Thanks to the growing economy, the freight transport with Europe has increased substantially. By means of this collaboration we can use our know-how to advise the port of Lagos in its further development. It underlines the ambition of PAI to consolidate and further develop its already strong position in West Africa."
Hadiza Bala Usman, CEO Nigerian Ports Authority, said: "The port of Antwerp is an inspiring example for our own port of Lagos. We are most impressed with Antwerp and so are very pleased with this collaboration agreement that will allow us to call upon its expertise. We look towards the future with great confidence."
Apart from the visit to the Lagos port, the participants of the mission, among whom representatives of the Port of Antwerp and different shipping companies, terminal operators and logistics service providers, will attend a port seminar and different networking events for the benefit of the Antwerp entrepreneurs.
In addition, they will visit the Eko Atlantic project, an extension of the city into the sea, and the Dangote project in Lekki, a new refinery complex and additional deep sea port.