The Port of Antwerp International in Belgium has told the Nigerian government that only multimodal transportation infrastructure will alleviate traffic and congestion issues in the country’s ports.
Mr. Philippe Droesbeke, Manager, Port Projects, Port of Antwerp International, provided the advice during a courtesy visit to the Nigerian Shippers’ Council (NSC) headquarters in Lagos on Thursday.
He said that the multimodal link was the answer to Nigeria’s port congestion, encouraging the nation to step away from its over-reliance on road transport of cargo from the seaports to the hinterlands.
Droesbeke explained that the visit to the council was part of a series of visits to various ports to share the Port of Antwerp’s experiences with other ports around the world, as the firm has established a subsidiary that provides consulting in port management and other fields related to terminal and port processes.
“We are a daughter company of the Port of Antwerp and we are very internationally focused,” he said, adding that logistics infrastructure should be built in Nigeria to meet the needs and position of exportable products.
We’d like to share our knowledge with you.” We have an MoU with the Nigerian Ports Authority (NPA) and collaborate on various projects with them, but we are also collaborating with a number of private companies to develop port processes.
Apex, our training centre, is a guide in the maritime community. Apex is not a research institution, but rather a teaching facility that combines philosophy with experience. We’ve been doing it for decades, and we already have over 70,000 alumni.”
He reported that the Port of Antwerp handles over 140 million tonnes of cargoes each year, but uses a multimodal solution for cargo evacuation, with rail accounting for 50%, barges for 40%, and roads accounting for 10%.
“If perishables are found on the west side of the region, production should not be concentrated in the east. That would be completely illogical,” he said.
Paulette Van Trier, the Executive Secretary of the Nigerian-Belgian Chamber of Commerce in Lagos, shared her happiness at the meeting while speaking to reporters, adding that the Chamber has been working diligently to boost trade between the two nations.
“We are working to ensure that Nigerian export products arrive at ports on time so that they can reach the foreign market and spread all over the world,” she says.
Thanks to the Shippers’ Council, we expect to be able to collaborate, form a constructive relationship, and increase Nigerian exports.”
“As a Chamber, we are not requesting funds. We simply want farmers and other exporters to be aware of how the operation is carried out across the world. We are setting examples for Nigerians by teachings and training in order to raise awareness of global best standards and practices.”
Barr. Hassan Bello, the NSC’s Executive Secretary, earlier reported that Nigeria had recognized and prioritized the problems in the construction of new deep seaports.
“In terms of consulting, we are still open to such collaboration. In terms of interconnectivity, we have seaports and inland ports, which we refer to as dry ports. We like these dry ports to be up to international standards and expectations. They can also help the Nigerian economy, especially in terms of export; we want to turn the dry ports into export hubs.”
“At seaports and dry ports, there are other items that must be there, such as consolidation centres, container stripping, warehousing, businesses that process and add value to agricultural goods, and manufacturing companies,” the NSC manager said.
Bello concluded that NSC should conduct a report on other principles that will increase the efficiency of seaports and dry ports, as well as a comprehensive development of the country’s supply chain to lower transportation costs and produce goods that are sustainable in the global market.
“Nigerian goods are often harmed by packaging and a variety of other factors. This is another field in which we might be interested when we need to fix something,” Bello said.