•WACT launches two mobile harbour cranes
Fortunes of the Onne Port, Rivers State, has been boosted as the West Africa Container Terminal (WACT), acquired two giant mobile harbour cranes for massive cargo handling.
The two new container cargoes handling facility, estimated at about $10 million (N3.6 billion) will bring WACT, one of the most efficient container terminals outside Lagos, at par with its peers in Apapa, and Tin Can Island ports, in terms of equipment and operational efficiency.
Speaking at the inauguration in Onne, Wednesday, the Managing Director, WACT, Aamir Mirza, said investments in the terminal has attracted 700 direct and 2,000 indirect employments in Nigeria, just as the company recorded tremendous growth of 17 per cent in 2017, 21 per cent growth in 2018, and already attained 20 per cent growth so far this year.
Mizra described the $10 million investment as a key enabler to customers’ satisfaction.
“Our vision is to make the best performing container terminal in West Africa. We believe this vision can be realised early enough if the government can support us to reduce the challenges by ensuring safety of vessels on our waters, and improved road connectivity, among others,” he said.
Mirza said the cranes will enable volume growth resulting in increased productivity; reduce port stay, and provide bunker savings as well as improve reliability in cargo delivery time; reduce the impact of crane break down/idle time on overall terminal operations; and Increase customers satisfaction and speedy delivery.
Managing Director, Oil and Gas Free Zone Authority (OGFZA), Umana Okon Umana, lauded WACT for making the nation meet the objectives of establishing the free zone, and promised to run the free zone in a professional manner, and also assured of dedicated power to the zone for efficient service delivery.
Managing Director, Nigerian Ports Authority (NPA), Hadiza Bala Usman, lauded the company for the development, and urged shippers to patronise Onne Port.
Usman, who was represented by the Port Manager, Al-Hassan Ismail, said the government is looking into the security of vessels on Nigeria’s high sea, and pledged to continue to sweep the channel to aid navigation into the Eastern port.
Executive Secretary, Nigeria Shippers Council (NSC), Hassan Bello, said the new facility will boost efficiency and improve the dwell time of cargoes, while reiterating government’s commitment to encouraging more importers to patronise the Onne Port.
Controller-General of Customs, Ahmeed Ali, said WACT is on facility compliance level, adding that the upgrade will enhance the clearance of goods at the port to meet the Customs best practices globally.
Ali, who was represented by the Controller Zone, Assistant Comptroller General, Francis Enwereuzor, commended the company for continuous investment geared towards raising the bar for operations at Onne Port.
WACT had earlier this year acquired 10 specialised terminal trucks, and two reach stackers to complement the operations of the two giant cranes.