Investments in the barge business in 2022 are estimated to exceed 20 billion naira, the Nigerian Ports Authority said.

As of 2020, it has licensed about 58 barge operators, the agency said in the July-September edition of its magazine, Nigerian Ports Today.

The report also said the business directly provided employment to more than 3,000 people and indirectly provided employment to another 2,000 people.

It also said that by 2022, about 2,000 barges are estimated to be operating within the Lagos Pilotage Zone, the country’s busiest maritime traffic area.

“As of 2020, NPA has licensed around 58 barge operators. Investment in the barge business is now estimated at over 20 billion guilders, as the business directly provides employment for over 3,000 people and indirectly for another 2,000 people Opportunity. Today, an estimated 2,000 barges operate within the Lagos Pilotage Zone, the country’s busiest maritime traffic area.”

At APM Terminals, a total of 44,232 containers were transported by barge from the terminal in the first quarter of 2022, the report said.

In January alone, 12,382 container movements were recorded, while 14,890 and 16,960 were reported in February and March, respectively, the NPA said.

“In January, a total of 12, 382 were recorded. There were 14,890 in February and 16,960 in March. Steady growth with a total of 44,232 cases of 20, 40 and 45 shipped by barge.”

The agency further said that during the period under review, a total of 29,043 movements of containerized cargo through the main gate of the terminal were recorded.

Breaking down further, it said: “In January, a total of 9,330 were recorded. There were 8,842 sightings in February and 10,771 in March. The total number of relocated containers increased steadily, with a total of 29,043 containers of 20, 40, 45 moved through the main gate.

“This shows that the port is witnessing an increase in operational efficiency, service delivery and revenue generation.

The report also said that the volume of cargo transported by barges has increased compared to trucks.

“As expected, the number of containers (full, empty and delivered) transported by barge increased significantly in the first quarter of 2022.”

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