History of Nigerian Ports Authority

3554 Words Aug 11th, 2012 15 Pages
The history of port development in Nigeria dates back to the middle of 19th century. This was long after the onset of sea borne trade and transactions which followed the adventures of early explorations on the African coasts. Initial efforts towards provision of facilities for ocean going vessels were the attempts to open up the entrance to the Lagos Lagoon. Considerable littoral drift occurred along this coast; and the constantly shifting channels in the bar at the entrance made entry very difficult.

On February 1, 1914, the first mail-steamer S/S ‘AKOKO’ drawing 5.64 metres entered the Lagos harbour. Two months later, vessels began to use the facilities provided at the Customs wharf on Lagos Island.

Prior to this
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The Authority also within this period continued to sustain the efforts already made towards expansion of ports facilities in Lagos and Port Harcourt. In Lagos, six berths of 943 metres were added to the existing ones, while four berths with a total quay length of 506 metres were added to the facilities and steps were taken to mechanize the traffic operations in these ports. In this era, port development approach became tailored along declared national objectives. The Authority’s development strategy became programmed to fall in line with the first National Development Plan –1962 –1968. The second Apapa Wharf Extension was executed and so also were further improvements of port facilities in Port Harcourt. The sum N45M was spent during this period on the two ports.
CIVIL WAR ERA 1967 –1970
This period had tremendous impact on the ports industry in Nigeria. The security aspect of ports came into sharp focus. Port Harcourt (Rivers Ports) was closed to foreign traffic. Lagos thus became the only available port serving the country’s maritime transportation needs.
The Federal Military Government enacted a special decree which empowered the Nigerian Ports Authority to acquire the ports of Warri, Burutu and Calabar, previously operated by private entrepreneurs. Holts Transport were former owners of Warri Port, UAC owned Burutu Port. Calabar Port was originally owned by five operators. NPA spent N3.35 million at the time to acquire these
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