The management of the Nigerian Ports Authority NPA has announced the approval of 10 per cent discount on harbour dues for vessels using the Rivers , Calabar and Delta Ports, all in the Eastern ports of the country.
The management in a statement made available to The Tide, said, this is part of the efforts to increase patronage of the Eastern ports and yield revenue to the government.
The authority said the ports that would be affected by the incentive are Rivers, Calabar, and Delta Ports,
NPA in a statement signed by its General Manager, Corporate and Strategic Communications, Jatto Adams, and made available to The Tide on Wednesday listed the types of vessels and cargoes that would enjoy the 10 per cent discount to include container vessels with at least 250 20-foot equivalent units, general cargo vessels with at least 16,000 metric tonnes, combo vessels with at least 16,000 MT, roll-on-roll-off vessels with at least 250 units of vehicles.
“These discounts shall not apply to vessels coming inballast (without any cargo), vessels calling at private jetties, and vessels carrying liquid bulk.”
The authority also announced that the application of the incentive was with immediate effect. The Federal Government is reported to have withdrawn the 30 per cent incentive granted to vessels calling at the Eastern ports after the concession of the ports.
This shot up freight charges for the ports, more than for vessels calling at the Lagos ports.
Adams said, “as part of efforts to decongest Lagos ports and divert vessel traffic to the eastern ports, the Federal Government had in the past year made huge investments in the eastern ports to rehabilitate them and make them more attractive to importers”.
Also speaking, General Manager, Security, NPA, Iheanacho Ebubeogu, suggested a reduction in tariffs as part of the incentives to attract vessels to the eastern ports. Iheanacho said this would encourage effective utilisation of the ports because if cost differential between Lagos and the eastern ports was down by 30 per cent, importers would be attracted to use the ports.