MV Adobia’s Maiden Voyage Opens Up Business In Calabar Port
AT last, hope has come the way of Calabar Port after years of inactivity due to its shallow channel, the deplorable state of the Calabar-Itu-Ikot Ekpene-Aba and Calabar-Ikom-Ogoja-katsina Ala roads, and the low canopy Ikom bridge that made it impossible for container-carrying trucks to pass to or from the Northern part of the country. Draft at approach of the Calabar channel is 6.4 metres at high tide and 5.4 metres at low tide, whereas the concession agreement stipulated that the Federal Government will take the draft to 9.5metres; and the Bureau on Public Enterprise (BPE) had confirmed that this would be achieved on start of business. But this is not so on ground. Worried by this poor trend, the Federal Government had, on not less than four occasions, organised the dredging of the port to no avail. Bad roads did not help matters, as businessmen in the Calabar Free Trade Zone and Tinapa and cocoa merchants resorted to alternatives, leaving Calabar Port to lie fallow. Source: Nigerian Guardian
Cocoa shipment resumes after Cross River levy dispute ends
Exporters have resumed loading of cocoa shipments in Nigeria’s second-largest producing area, Cross River State, after the state government suspended weekend a levy on bean exports, a trade body said, reports Reuters. Cocoa shipments from Cross River Port of Calabar, which produces annual volumes of around 60,000 tons in the world’s fourth-biggest producer, had been halted for over a week as exporters protested the state’s failure to adhere to a court ruling last week to repeal the tax. The Cross River State government in 2011 introduced a levy on cocoa exporters who ship the beans through Nigerian seaports other than the state’s Calabar port. Exporters went to court to stop the levy. The state aims to generate revenue through its seaport and compete with more established seaports in the commercial capital Lagos. Cocoa farmers said they paid around N300 million last year to the state government in levies. Godwin Ukwu, spokesman for the Cocoa Association of Nigeria, said weekend that the state government had suspended the N5,000 naira per ton levy on cocoa exports, pending a meeting with exporters on Tuesday. “The levy has been suspended for now … Exporters have started loading cocoa. Trucks will be leaving between today and Tuesday,” Ukwu said. Cocoa exports from Cross River are usually destined for Europe. Taxes on exports including cocoa are usually collected by the Federal Government.
Calabar Port to Handle Containerised Cargo With Specialised Vessels
The Port Manager of Calabar Port, Musa Wada, has disclosed that despite the low draft of the channel leading to the port, an arrangement is ongoing with one of the terminal operators to bring containerised flat bottom vessels to the facility to increase its cargo throughput. Disclosing this to Vanguard in Houston, Texas, Wada explained that the arrangement is part of efforts of the central management to increase and expand the capacity of the port which presently handles 90 percent wet cargo. The Port Manager, who said that they are working on some form of concession of the terminal's operation to make the deal attractive, noted that the first of such ship is expected to berth at the Calabar port before the end of the year. According to him, "Right now as I am talking to you, there are specialised vessels, (that is containerised vessels) which we are trying to introduce into the port which can pass through the present channel. "We have not concluded but very soon it will take off." On how soon it is expected to take off, Wada said "Well it depends on when the application for waivers for them is granted. We are looking for waivers for them and if that is approved by the management, it will take off. "You see when you are wooing people to come and invest you must give them waivers to encourage them because of our limited draft. We are working on that but hopefully in a few weeks from now when we get the approval from the central management, it will take off. Source: VanguardUpload News