Top Seaports in Nigeria

Top seaports in Nigeria
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Do you wish to know more about seaports in Nigeria? This article is for you. The article covers everything you need to know about Nigerian seaports.

Seaports in Nigeria – An Introduction

It is normal that a country like Nigeria to have seaports the same way it has airports.

If there are many airports in Nigeria, why should there be no seaports with Nigeria being a coastal country?

Although we cannot say that the number of seaports in the country is equivalent to that of local airports or international airports, there are some seaports in different parts of the nation.

These seaports help ensure that goods come in through the water bodies.

Some people may assume that any water body classifies as a seaport, but such an assumption is false.

You cannot expect that a water body in an interior rural area would become a seaport.

Before a water body can be classified as a seaport, it must be well-vetted, ensuring that vessels can securely pass through it.

A certified seaport provides facilities and equipment necessary for seagoing vessels to anchor, load and unload cargo, and embark and disembark passengers.

A water body must have a harbor to be classified as a seaport.

Thus, a ship cannot dock in a water body without a harbor, eliminating thoughts about all waterbodies being a seaport.

Instead, they are lakes or rivers.

Some seaports are small, while others are big.

A port can either be a cargo port or a cruise port. Both ports are, as the name implies.

People use the ships for cruising on a cruise port, while vessels dock with cargo and shipments on a cargo port.

Typically, every country has organizations or agencies that control the different ports.

It could be that one agency handles all the ports, or different agencies control the various ports.

Whatever the case might be, the aim is to ensure that things are done in an orderly manner to promote accountability.

Nigerian Ports Authority (NPA)

The body that is in charge of the operations of most Nigerian seaports is the Nigerian Ports Authority.

The authority started operations in 1955 but was only in charge of the Lagos and Port Harcourt ports then.

Now, it has expanded, adding other ports under its supervision.

The body’s head office is in Marina, Lagos state.

Nigerian Ports Authority has the vision to be the leading port in Africa while delivering efficient port services in a safe, secure, and customer-friendly environment.

Thus, it is not surprising that efficiency, customer satisfaction, safety and security, and innovation are the organization’s values.

The Nigerian Ports Authority has towage, boat servicing, radio/ signal communication and control, and much more under the harbor services it renders.

Related: Security Agencies in Nigeria; Functions, Duties, Uniform, Everything to Know

Branches that Represent the Work of Nigerian Ports Authority

Others branches that represent the work of the Nigerian Ports Authority are:

  • Cargo Handling
  • Marine Services
  • Health, Safety, and Environment Services
  • Security Services
  • Commercial Services
  • Engineering and Technical Services
  • Lands and Estate Services

Seaports under the Nigerian Ports Authority

The Nigerian Ports Authority is currently in charge of six Nigerian seaports, namely:

  • Lagos Ports Complex
  • Tin Can Island Port
  • Calabar Port
  • Delta Port
  • Port Harcourt Port
  • Onne Port

The other Nigerian seaports are run by agencies different from the Nigerian Ports Authority.

The Nigerian Ports Authority Abuja office acts as a liaison office.

List of the Seaports in Nigeria

Here is a list of the seaports in Nigeria:

  • Tin Can Island Port
  • Lagos Port Complex
  • Calabar Port
  • Delta Port
  • Rivers/ Port Harcourt Port
  • Onitsha Seaport
  • Onne Port
  • Sapele Port
  • Badagry Deep Sea Port

Tin Can Island Port

We do not know if you are familiar with Lagos state, but this seaport is located within the Apapa area of the state.

Construction of Tin Can Island Port began in 1981, with full operations starting in 1997.

It joined the list of seaports being managed by the Nigerian Ports Authority in 1991.

In terms of operations, Private Terminal Operators took over on the 10th of May, 2006 for Terminal A, C, and D, while Terminal B was handed over on the 1st of June, 2006.

Pilotage at this seaport is a 24 hours service, with the Port handling vessels ranging from 100m – 260m.

Related: Complete List of Top Multinational Companies in Nigeria

Lagos Port Complex

Interestingly, the Lagos Port Complex is also at Apapa in Lagos state.

The port is described as the biggest seaport in Nigeria.

It is also not surprising that this was the first seaport in Nigeria.

The port was established in 1913, and construction of the first four deep-water berths commenced in 1921.

There is an efficient and effective CCTV system within the port to ensure that things are done correctly.

The Lagos Port Complex also has two (2) Logistics bases – Eko Support Services Ltd. and Lagos Deep Offshore Logistics (LADOL) and eight (8) jetties.

It is usually the first port that comes to mind when it concerns seaports in Nigeria.

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Calabar Port

The Calabar Port is located in Calabar, the capital city of Cross River State.

It is the nearest port to 16 northern states as it serves as an essential focus of trade with the outside world for the Eastern States and a natural harbor for the Northern States of Nigeria.

The Calabar Port joined the list of seaports to be managed by the Nigerian Ports Authority in December 1969.

There are three Terminals of Calabar Port;

  • Ecomarine Terminal Ltd,
  • INTELS Nigeria Ltd, and
  • Shoreline Logistics Nigeria Limited.

It is not surprising that Calabar port’s profile in the oil and gas industry is fast gaining prominences.

Delta Port              

Typically, Delta Port serves as a shorter distance for haulages of cargoes for neighboring states.

Some of its catchment states are;

  • Anambra,
  • Imo,
  • Enugu,
  • Delta,
  • Edo,
  • Kogi,
  • Ondo, and
  • Benue.

Delta port’s goal is to ensure that there is always customer satisfaction, as this is the only way that businesses can strive within the port.

The Nigerian Ports Authority strives to ensure and position Delta ports as a pride of the Nation specializing in merchant shipping by creating value-added service with a significant impact on the economy of the region and the country.

Rivers Port

It is also called the Port Harcourt Port, as it is located in the capital city of Rivers state.

One cannot help but boast about this port as it is located in one of the world’s largest crude oil production regions, giving it an advantage over other ports.

You can research more to see the tanker market being witnessed at the Federal Ocean Terminal through the Bonny Fairway Buoy.

The Rivers Port is a part of the seaports managed by the Nigerian Ports Authority and has a lot ongoing with the country’s railway sector.

Onitsha Port

We can say that this is the newest seaport in Nigeria as it was commissioned in 2020.

It is helpful in getting containers from other ports down to Onitsha.

Everyone would agree that Onitsha is one of Nigeria’s major business areas, and it has been exhausting having no seaport in the city.

However, with the Onitsha Port’s commissioning, people are hopeful that it would help businesses strive better.

The plan is for business people to directly ship in goods from other countries to Onitsha without leaving the city.

With time, we are sure that the Onitsha port will expand, and it may also become managed by the Nigerian Ports Authority.

Onne Port

This is another seaport in Rivers state but situated in the Bonny River Estuary along Ogu Creek.

Since River state is one of the top oil-producing states in Nigeria, it is not shocking that Onne Port is one of the world’s largest Oil and Gas Free Zone.

According to the Nigerian Ports Authority, it helps support exploration and production for Nigerian activities.

Business activities are highly encouraged at this port, and its high level of security assures people that they are in safe hands during transactions.

Onne Port also has one of the biggest harbor mobile cranes in Africa.

Sapele Port

It is a small seaport in Delta state but is not on the list of ports managed by the Nigerian Ports Authority.

One would not quickly think about this seaport when thinking of ports in Nigeria, especially as there is already a more significant seaport within the state.

However, it comes in handy for those who have businesses to handle within that area.

Although the Sapele port is small, it is efficient, and there are plans to ensure that it gets bigger.

We cannot tell, but maybe it will be managed by the Nigerian Ports Authority with time.

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Problems of Seaport in Nigeria

Nigerian seaports face numerous challenges amongst which are;

  • Security issues
  • Delay in imports and exports
  • Excessive charges

Related: 17 Current Problems of Education in Nigeria & Possible Solutions

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) Regarding Seaports in Nigeria

What is Africa Sea Port List

There are many seaports in African countries, as we can see a number of them in Nigeria.

The top African seaports are:

  • Durban Port, South Africa
  • Mombasa Port, Kenya
  • Djibouti Port
  • Lagos Port, Nigeria
  • Abidjan Port, Ivory Coast
  • Suez Canal Port, Egypt
  • Tangier Port, Morocco

Do we have deep seaports in Nigeria?

Deep seaports are ports that can accommodate a fully laden Panamax ship.

People also call them Panamax Ports.

Some of these ports in Nigeria are;

  • Lekki Deep Seaport and
  • Badagry Deep Seaport.

Does Benin have a seaport?

There is currently no seaport in Benin city, but funds have been awarded to construct one.

It is a belief that infrastructural activities will improve in Edo state if there is a seaport.

Hence, people are hopeful for the construction to begin in earnest to ensure that the state’s economy improves.

Does Lagos have a seaport?

The two largest seaports in Nigeria are in Lagos state.

Yes, Lagos has seaports that support the economy of the country.

What are the two major seaports in Nigeria?

The two major seaports in Nigeria are the Lagos Port Complex and the Tin Can Island Port.

What is the busiest seaport in Nigeria?

The busiest seaport in Nigeria is the Lagos Port Complex

Where is the largest seaport in Nigeria?

The largest seaport in Nigeria is in Lagos state.

Concluding Words on the Seaports in Nigeria

Now, you know the different seaports in Nigeria and their locations. These seaports are not the best in the world, and there are hopes for improvement to happen.

Have you visited any of these Nigerian seaports?

How was your experience?

Tell us what you think about the seaports in Nigeria in the comment box.

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