As one of the prime revenue earners for the nation, the Nigerian Ports Authority (NPA) says it has generated N172,285,626,312.00 (One hundred and seventy-two billion, two hundred and eighty-five million, six hundred and twenty-six thousand and twelve naira only) in the first half of 2022.
NPA also during the same period remitted N78,496,966,862.20 (Seventy-two billion, four hundred and ninety-six million, nine hundred and sixty-six thousand, eight hundred and sixty-two naira and twenty kobo) into the Consolidated Revenue Fund (CRF) of the Federation.
This is contained in a half-year 2022 operational reports obtained by the Persecondnews.com on Thursday.
A breakdown of the figure shows that N50,255,925,779.20 (fifty billion, two hundred and fifty-five million, nine hundred and twenty-five thousand, seven hundred and seventy-nine Naira, twenty kobo) represents cash remittances, the compulsory deduction of 25% of revenue generated and other sundry payments from January to June 2022.
Managing Director/CEO of NPA, Mr Mohammed Bello-Koko, stated that “The remaining sum of N28,241,041,083.00 (twenty-eight billion, two hundred and forty-one million, forty-one thousand, eighty-three Naira) relates to the remittance with respect to other periods.”
The NPA boss said in the face of global economic and inflation crises, among others negative factors; the half-year operational statistics were encouraging, adding that they had bolstered impressive remittances to the Consolidated Revenue Fund (CRF) of the Federal Government.
“Global economic and inflation crises, global reduction in household incomes and purchasing power and scarcity of foreign exchange all of which has negatively affected business environment, affected Government revenue and constrained expenditure.
“The development in the port industry cannot be severed from the macro-economic environment with galloping inflation that has grossly reduced the disposable income of the households, the depreciating exchange rates that stifle business environment and the dwindling government revenue that constrains expenditure.
“In the face of these harsh macro-economic indices, the Nigerian Ports Authority has forged on to deliver port and harbour services to the teeming operators in the export and import businesses across the country,’’ Koko sad.
According to him, the remittances are expressions of the operational performance of the ports.
He explained: “In the 1st half of 2022, a total of 1,992 ships calls were recorded and the aggregate of the Gross Registered tonnage (GRT) of vessels was 60,235,133 tons.
“The Authority achieved total cargo throughput of 38,672,392 metric tonnes and 849,175 teus (twenty-foot equivalent units) of container traffic. Vehicle traffic handled, during the period under review, was 132,543 units.
“Also, the average turn-around-time (TAT) of vessels, indicating port efficiency, stood at 5.16days. This is an improvement and we are strategizing to perform better in the second half of the year.”
Describing ports as the gateway of the national economy, Bello-Koko said they represent the barometer by which the pulse of the economy is measured.
“The Authority remains committed to providing improved services to increase efficiency at the ports that impact on higher revenue generation and economic growth of the nation.”
Bello-Koko listed such improved services to increase efficiency at the ports to include deployment of marine crafts at all ports locations; marking/laying of buoys at Calabar and Escravos Channel to improve safe navigation; encouraging the use of Eastern Port by way of incentives to importers on port charges; deployment of security patrol boats to increase safety along the Port Quays; and repairs/ rehabilitation of ports’ access roads to improve cargo evacuation and dwell time.
Others include encouraging the use of barges for cargo evacuation to reduce traffic gridlock on the roads; licensing of export processing terminals in order to support the Federal Government’s initiative on increase in non-oil exports; creating MSS for barge operations in order to improve multi-modal means of cargo movement; and, working on initiatives to improve on staff members’ welfare.
Koko assured stakeholders and Nigerians that the Authority would exceed expectations in terms of revenue generation and keep fidelity to its remittances into the CRF for the year.
He assured that NPA under his leadership would continue to come up with robust initiatives that would further improve trade facilitation, which he described as the core function of the organization.