The West Africa Container Terminal Nigeria (WACT) on Thursday said the scanning machine at Onne Port Complex had the potential to making a difference by facilitating faster and easier cargo delivery.
The Managing Director of WACT, Mr Naved Zafar, in a statement in Lagos, also commended the Nigeria Customs Service (NCS) for installing the new scanning machine.
Zafar noted that the new scanning machine was acquired by the Federal Government in September 2021 and commissioned on Jan. 27 by the Comptroller-General of Customs, Col. Hameed Ali (rtd).
He said that according to Ali, the scanner will facilitate trade, ensure security and drastically reduce the importation of illicit goods by unscrupulous persons.
Zafar, who attended the commissioning ceremony alongside other dignitaries at the port, said the scanner would aid manifest verification, Customs tariff collection and the identification of contraband.
He said WACT, which was the largest container terminal operator in the eastern ports, would offer necessary support to NCS to optimise the benefits of the scanning machine.
“We are delighted with the commissioning of this scanner. I believe it has the potential of making a lot of difference by facilitating faster and easier delivery of cargo.
“We have long prepared for this.
“As part of our terminal Uupgrade and expansion project, we have acquired sufficient cargo handling equipment at our terminal to improve the efficiency of the port and the new scanning machine will compliment our effort in this regard,” Zafar said.
He said that as regards the on-going upgrade of WACT, the terminal upgrade was on course as it could be recalled that in 2020, a fresh investment of USD100 million for Phase Two upgrade was announced.
“The Phase Two upgrade includes the acquisition of three additional Mobile Harbour Cranes, bringing the total in operation to five; 20 Rubber Tyre Gantry Cranes; three Reach Stackers; 13 terminal trucks and trailers and an empty container handler.
“It also includes the deployment of reefer racks with a 600-plug capacity, as well as expansion of the current yard, new workshop and a new terminal gate complex.
“We have acquired and deployed the new Mobile Harbour Cranes and Rubber Tyre Gantry Cranes.
We have also installed the new reefer rack and the yard expansion work is on course. We will complete the upgrade by the middle of this year,” he said.
WACT started commercial operation in 2001. It is the first Greenfield container terminal in Nigeria to be built under a Public-Private Partnership (PPP) model.
The terminal is located within the Oil and Gas Free Zone in Onne Port, Rivers State. Over the years, it has grown to become the most efficient gateway to markets outside the Lagos area.