https://t.co/Wyaq0r6pjx "Slowly but steadily, Nigeria's previously ignored ports (outside Lagos) have been enjoying a renaissance since 2017. I think we all agree that Nigeria needs to move more cargo/containers away from Lagos and to the Ports in the Eastern flank of Nigeria (Calabar, PH, Warri, Onne, etc), right? Lagos Ports are clearly overburdened - no doubt about that. Here’s something quite interesting: Things have been looking up for the Eastern Ports since 2017. Still a long way to go, but you can see a coming-alive. The revival started in Calabar Port in Oct 2017, when two flat-bottomed vessels (200m) berthed there, carrying wheat: MV Desert Ranger, and MV Desert Harrier One of the biggest challenges with the Eastern Ports is the limitations in channel draft. In layman’s terms, they are too shallow for large vessels. Need to be dredged. While plans for dredging are being sorted, @nigerianports decided to encourage flatbottomed vessels to berth. Getting the two vessels (owned by a Greek Co) to break a jinx of sorts and berth in Calabar in Oct 2017 was no small feat - the Company had to be convinced; ship captains had to receive special training to navigate the Calabar Port channel. And then there was Pilot Mohammed Bida. Pilot Mohammed Bida is the @nigerianports tugboat pilot whose task it was to “pilot” the vessels into the Harbour when they arrived in Calabar. News reports say he was rewarded with a Best Worker of the Year Award in 2017, as well as double promotion from Grade level 09 to 12. https://t.co/kqLTNV4U2P This was October 2017 - when the flat-bottomed ships broke the Calabar jinx. In December 2017, Calabar Port commenced export of bulk cement to Tema Port in Ghana: https://t.co/mU5QUMdGwN The next big milestone came in 2019. In 2019, three container ships berthed at Calabar Port — the first time in ELEVEN years. MV Boreas: September 2019 MV Zea Walawe: November 2019 MV MCP Adamax: November 2019 https://t.co/gLY20Pw4md It’s great news no doubt. But several challenges remain, including the shallow draft, and also security challenges in the waterways (you can read more in the link in previous tweet). But the berthing of flat-bottomed vessels is a step forward from the dormancy of the past. That’s Calabar. Let’s move on to Warri Port. Here’s the big news from Warri. I tweeted this a year ago: https://t.co/AESM58MUdi One can confirm that the dredging of Warri Port (Escravos Bar—Warri Port) has been completed. Completed in Nov/Dec 2018. Contract was awarded April 2018. I’m told the last dredging happened in the 1980s https://t.co/pFKZJ72yM8 #PMBMeansBusiness #TheYearOfInfrastructure UPDATE | One year after completion of dredging of Escravos Channel: “The number of ships that are coming [to Warri Port] has increased significantly and revenues have gone up.” https://t.co/QpOpD3ZFLi #infrastructure @nigerianports Next up: Rivers Port (Port Harcourt) On October 30, 2019, MT NAVIGATOR CAPRICON, a 160m LPG Tanker operated by NLNG, berthed in PH. I’m told first time ever for an LPG ship in any of the Eastern Ports; LPG ships (from NLNG in Bonny) have always berthed in Lagos. Also, according to @nigerianports: “Nine (9) new vessels called at the Rivers Ports for the first time in 2019, including: MV Zafer, berthed September 8, 2019 MV Northern Dance, berthed May 22, 2019 MV Kota Bakti, berthed February 18, 2019.” Thread continues here: https://t.co/uYMXqjieAQ And then the big news from Onne Port: On December 8, 2019, Onne Port received JPO VOLANS (owned by Maersk), the FIRST gearless and largest container vessel (265.07 metres) to call at any Eastern Port in Nigeria. [Typical length of previous Eastern Port ships = 200m or less] [Worth noting that Onne can take larger vessels than other Eastern Ports, will take vessels of up to ~10m draft versus ~6m drafts in Calabar for example. A deep sea port would typically take vessels with draft in excess of 15m. The planned LEKKI Deep Sea Port = ~16m.] So, by & large, there’s been significant surge in Eastern Ports activity since 2017. @hadizabalausman doing heavy lifting. Icing on cake: @nigerianports approved 10% discount on harbour dues in all concessioned terminals at the Eastern ports, in June 2019 https://t.co/8g37xR2jzQ Lemme add this to the Onne segment of this thread: In 2019 West Africa Container Terminal (WACT) invested $10m to acquire a mobile harbour crane, and position Onne Port to compete with Lagos Ports for custom: https://t.co/8pLS0t9u0J So, expect more from Onne this year. So this thread is full of exciting/encouraging developments, but there‘s still a LONG way to go. Nigeria needs more Deep Sea Ports,apart from Lagos. Lagos is—as opening tweet pointed out—greatly overburdened. The diversion of land border traffic has now also complicated situation Here’s what I know about planned Deep Sea Port developments in Nigeria - to unburden the Lagos Ports Complex. 1. Warri deep sea port contract awarded October 2019: https://t.co/C771vIDh2h Financing still needs to be negotiated though, I don’t know what the timelines are. https://twitter.com/toluogunlesi/status/1182939679303360513?s=19 There’s also a planned deep sea port in Ibaka, Akwa Ibom, I believe it’s a State Govermment-led project. And then there’s the Lekki Deep Sea Port, a joint project of China Dev Bank, China Harbour Eng Co, Tolaram Group, @nigerianports & @followlasg https://t.co/LSUofA5UCk All of these projects need to happen as soon as possible. We need them like yesterday. While we wait for these new developments, we will continue to hope that @nigerianports will continue & step up its efforts to develop the existing Eastern Ports and attract greater traffic. Lemme add this, from @nigerianports https://t.co/flnBioS8w2 This tweet replaces and corrects a deleted one: On August 1, 2019, Onne Port’s Brawal Terminal received MSC GRACE, its first container vessel since 2012. So in addition to existing oil and gas logistics the Terminal has now resumed handling of container vessels. (File photos) https://t.co/9K7ZnU1c6T Specifically Brawal Terminal. The other Onne Terminals have been receiving container vessels.