London, United Kingdom, July 07, 2017 --(PR.com
)-- Despite recent economic difficulties, owing to the drop in crude oil prices, the Nigerian GDP has rocketed from $166bn in 2006 to $296bn in 2017 (tradingeconomics.com) and the country remains one of the largest economies in Africa. Due to it’s major contributions to the ECOWAS region and African continent in general Nigeria is widely recognised as the gateway to West Africa and is the focus of international attention. As a vital part of any economy, a lot of this attention has been concentrated on the Transport and Logistics sector.
Recent years have seen major investments in Nigerian road, rail, air and sea transport pouring in from global private and public sectors, revealing the level of interest and opportunity in the West African market. These investments have been steadily building over the years and include $390m from Qatar in 2012 (Ventures Africa) and, more recently, $1bn from the UK government in December 2016 (Punch Nigeria).
A lot of the more promising developments, such as the Badagry mega port (scheduled for completion in 5 years time) and the Lekki deep sea port (situated on a greenfield site and expected to be completed in 2019) are funded by private investments; Lekki Port is costing $1.5 Billion in private funding. The increase in private and public investments is encouraging, and as a result, performance levels have been rising in ports and terminals that have already received the funding they need to progress and reform:
“Ports and Cargo Handling Services Limited (PCHSL), a leading indigenous terminal operator in charge of Terminal ‘C’ of Tin-Can Island port, has grown its operating capacity by 220 percent from 5,000 Twenty Equivalent Units (TEUs) inherited from the Nigerian Ports Authority (NPA) in 2006 to 16,000 TEUs, within 10 years of handling cargo in Nigerian port… This tremendous transformation can be attributed to the multi-million dollar worth of investment in terminal infrastructure, acquisition of equipment and training of personnel, which have succeeded in transforming the terminal into a modern and information technology-driven seaport.” (Business Day, 2016).
Developments within individual ports have been introduced in conjunction with nationwide improvements such as the International Cargo Tracking Note (ICTN) scheme, which will bring an end to revenue leakages from under-declaration of vessels’ GRTs and increase government’s import revenue.
In response to the progress witnessed in the sector and the plans for further growth, more international companies are entering the West African market. International carriers and freight forwarders such as: CMA-CGM, DHL, MSC, DSV, UAL, Sifax and St. Johns met earlier this year at Multimodal West Africa, an international transport, logistics and supply chain management exhibition run by local events organisers, Clarion Events West Africa (part of the esteemed global events company, Clarion Events Ltd.).
With over 10 years experience in the freight forwarding and supply chain management sector and having delivered trade fairs in Africa for the past 20 years, Clarion Events Ltd. are recognised as the leading organiser in the region. The 2018 edition of Multimodal West Africa, holding 23 – 25 January, will welcome 5000 cargo owners and over 100 leading international and local carriers and freight forwarders.