Barely one month after commissioning two new Mobile Harbor Cranes worth US$10million at the Onne Port Complex, Rivers State; leading Nigerian port operator, the West Africa Container Terminal (WACT), has acquired four new additional specialised terminal trucks and two reach stackers, worth over $4 million.
Managing Director of WACT, Mr. Aamir Mirza, said at the recent commissioning of the new trucks and reach stackers that the additional investment is aimed at further improving ship turnaround time and cargo delivery at the terminal.
He said that the new acquisition brings to 14 the number of new specialised terminal trucks acquired by WACT this year.
“In February this year, four specialised terminal trucks were air-freighted at Port Harcourt International airport. From then until now, with the two reach stackers and four terminal trucks that we commissioned today, it is basically the end of the first order that we placed.
“In all, it is about $4 million. In addition to this, the bigger investment is the cranes worth $10 million. So in all, we have spent $14 million so far this year. There are more equipment coming. For example, we will be getting man-lifter used to repair Mobile Harbor Cranes and 10 more trailers. This is in response to the growing business and to ensure WACT remains the gateway to Eastern Nigeria and beyond.
“Our resolve is to be the best container terminal in West Africa and in line with that commitment; we have continued to invest in our manpower, our processes and our equipment. Today, WACT can effectively compete with any terminal in or outside Nigeria.
“Our array of modern cargo handling equipment, which include two new Mobile Habor Cranes; 18 Reach stackers, 4 Empty Handlers, 9 Fork Lifts and a total of 26 specialised Terminal Trucks mean we are well positioned to meet shipping lines, importers and agents at the highest level of service delivery,” he said.
Mirza, further commended the Federal Government and the Nigerian Ports Authority (NPA) for encouraging private sector investment at the port, saying WACT has actualised the objectives of the Federal Government’s port concession programme.
He said, “The objectives of the port concession exercise were good and I think Nigeria has gained a lot as a result. For example, ours is a greenfield project and this facility was a swamp before concession. That meant we had to build from the scratch. We built everything you see here through our own investment and today we are happy to say that it is serving port users and meeting their needs very well. The economy is also benefitting tremendously from it. Shippers in the Eastern part of the country don’t need to ship their cargo through Lagos anymore. Right here at Onne, they are getting top quality service and faster delivery of their boxes, as we are committed to meeting their expectations.”
Speaking at the event, the Port Manager, Onne Port, Al-Hassan Ismaila, said WACT has exhibited high level of commitment in running of the facility, which he said has led to improvement in service delivery.