THE STATE OF NIGERIA,S MARITIME INDUSTRY (Part 1)
THE STATE OF NIGERIA’S MARITIME INDUSTRY (Part 1):
A Historical Perspective.
It is particularly difficult to pin down the history of the maritime industry in Nigeria. But one can say with a great degree of precision that the annals of the maritime industry in Nigeria dates back to pre-colonial times. What this intends to say is: before the early exploratory and trade activities of the Europeans, there already existed some form of maritime activities, though on a small scale.
The first documented development of maritime industry in Nigeria can be narrowed down to 1906, when a landmark decision was taken to dredge the Lagos lagoon. In 1913,the decision to develop Apapa port was taken.1914 was the year the first mail steamer s/s Akoko drawing 5.64 metres entered the Lagos harbor and consequently led to the development of the customs wharf in Lagos Island. The rapid growth which the sector as it was then witnessed placed a further demand on the opening up of Lagos Lagoon.
1921 brought the actual development of Apapa Port with the construction of four deep water berths of 548.64 metres long. Twenty-Seven years later, in 1948 to be precise, an additional 762 metres berthage were constructed in addition to the previous four berths and forty-one hectares of reclamation behind the wharves to make provision for transit.
Port Harcourt was the second city in the development of maritime in 1913 by Lugard.The Port Harcourt Port was further expanded when in 1927 four berths of 1,920 feet long were developed. This was followed with another major expansion few years before independence in 1954.
Within the first decade of post-independence, several other achievements were recorded. Between 1967-70,the Federal Military Government through the (Nigeria Ports Authority) acquired the Warri, Burutu and Calabar Ports, previously operated by private entrepreneurs. From this period till date, the maritime industry has recorded more development and notable achievements in technology, safety, improved service delivery, more expansion of existing ports and development of other ports like the Federal Ocean Terminal, Onne, and Rivers State, among others.
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Posted: July 01, 2020 08:31 am