A lot has changed at the ports since the Federal Government concessioned the terminals in 2006, a senior official of the Federal Ministry of Finance (FMoF) has said.
He said the report of an impact assessment conducted by Denmark-based consulting firm Quantifying Business Impacts on Society (QBIS) also attested to it.
The study titled: ?Nigerian Trade Stimulator ? How APM Terminals in Nigeria have impacted trade, creating jobs and ensuring a sustainable business environment, ?? he said,?was conducted by Mette Dalgliesh Olsen and Thomas Westergaard-Kabelmann.
APM Terminals, Apapa, based on the report, the official said, has increased Nigeria?s manufactured export by 15 per cent, about N152.5 billion, between 2006 and 2009.
The Nigerian Ports Authority (NPA), through the private terminal operators, the official said, has been running the ports effectively, saying NPA generated $140 million in 2005 before the concession and over $450 million from the Lagos Ports in 2014.
Speaking with The Nation, the official said the government?s revenue has increased geometrically since the concession.
The official, who asked not to be named, said the government con-cessioned the ports to generate more revenue and allow for greater flexibility, efficiency and better services to importers and other port users by resolving some of the major challenges confronting ports operations.
?The $5 billion increase in manufactured exports by the APMT has been associated with the creation of about 255,000 jobs and a contributiion of $1.6 billion to the nation?s GDP.
?The report indicates increasing Foreign Direct Investment impact in the country and increased non-oil exports, in line with the agenda of the Federal Government.
?This impact originates from a 50 per cent improvement in Nigeria?s liner shipping connectivity in the period from 2006 to 2009 that the study finds primarily is attributable to the Apapa terminal.
?Thus, Apapa?s higher terminal capacity and efficiency made it more attractive for shipping lines to call Apapa and immediately increased the number of liner shipping services calling Apapa from eight to 22, while economies of scale, among others, were boosted by bigger container vessels.
?In the years following APM Terminals? takeover of Apapa, according to the report, the number export countries rose from 82 to 144, while manufactured export value soared from $7 billion in 2006 to $47 billion in 2009.
?The study also states that APM Terminals has made significant contributions to the development of local communities in Nigeria.
?The health, prosperity and well-being of local communities is often considered of critical importance to terminal operators. Not only do terminal operators depend on local communities for access to resources (labour, land, infrastructure), local communities are often also key to terminal operators? ?license to operate?.
?In that sense, terminal operators have a shared interest in supporting and developing local communities, and like many terminal operators around the world, APM Terminals in Nigeria engages in local community initiatives governed by a local policy on charitable activities, sponsorships and donations,? the report stated.
?The study said with its capabilities in inland transportation, handling and storage of perishable goods, APM Terminals in Nigeria can play a potentially important role by enabling improved market access for rural farming communities in the Northern and rural parts of Nigeria while reducing food spoilage.
?To this end, APM Terminals inland services initiated a new project in 2017 aimed at providing modern cold chain transportation alternatives for rural farmers in the agricultural centres of northern Nigeria to bring fresh produce, such as tomatoes, intact and unspoiled to market centres in the South,? the report said.
?The study further stated that the modern cold chain transportation solution being provided by APM Terminals will create new long-term business opportunities for the country, while contributing to increased market access and improved income for rural farmers as well as create significant reductions in the post-harvest loss levels in the country.
?The impact study further stated that despite its huge impact on the country?s economy, the full potential of APM Terminals? investments in Nigeria is currently stifled indicating that additional improvements could be made to enhance the country?s competitiveness and international trade.
?With Apapa running at 60 per cent of its capacity, APM Terminals can accommodate significantly more import and export if the demand emerges.?
The turnaround time in 2005, at the Lagos Port complex and Tin-Can port, he said, was 10.0; vessel waiting time was 3.0, adding that between 2014 and 2016, the turnaround time and vessel waiting time have reduced to 4.0 and 1.3 and zero level in 2016.
He said: ?Concession is a process whereby the concession grantor gives the right to operate facility and/or deliver a service of public interest to a merchant concession-aire, against the commitment assumed by the concessionaire to build and manage the subject of the concession, or to manage the delivery of service at the concession-aire?s own risk.?
Before the 2006 concession, the official said, the ports demonstrated very low levels of efficiency, which resulted in long turnaround times for ships and increased container dwell time.
In global commerce, he said, seaports play an important role of being many nations?major gateway for international trade and are a good instrument for measuring the economic health of a nation.
?The ports have considerable influence on the volume and conditions of trade as well as the capacity for economic development of nations still developing.