Maersk Refutes Claims that Onitsha Inland Port is Fully Operational

Maersk Refutes Claims that Onitsha Inland Port is Fully Operational

Maersk shipping company has responded to the news making rounds in the social media, insinuating it has commenced a full shipping operation at Onitsha Inland Port.

The news broke out early Wednesday morning as a pic of the dockyard being commissioned, and shipment schedule from Maersk showing China – Onitsha destination surfaced online.

“We took a walk at the Onitsha pilot port after it was commissioned today. The port is at its full function. Such a pleasant sight! Congrats to the importers,” a Twitter user wrote.

Series of tweets praising the development followed, as many others joined the preaching.

“So Onitsha Port was commissioned yesterday & you can now send a container from China to Onitsha without going through Lagos? And some of have been using it for months but kept quiet? Why do people refuse to talk when good things happen in Nigeria,” Dr. Joe Abah wrote.

However, in response to inquiry about their operations in Onitsha Inland Port, Maersk said in an email response to Tekedia that the news has been inaccurate.

“There are some inaccurate news reports going around as we are not calling at Onitsha port with our vessels as this is not operationally feasible due to the draft of our vessels.

“We do however offer a through bill product for our customers in which cargo discharged at Onne is trucked to the Clarion Depot in Onitsha, which is roughly opposite the Niger River,” Kerry Rosser, Maersk Africa Communication Manager told Tekedia.

The Onitsha Inland Port was rehabilitated and commissioned in 2012, in view to accommodate vessels and ease Lagos Ports of congestion. But the port is yet to commence full operation since then.

A Seaport

Last month, the National Inland Waterways Authority (NIWA) said the commencement of shipping operations is targeted at the first quarter of 2021. NIWA’s Area Manager at Onitsha Area Office, Mrs. Queen Uba said operations at the port have been on hold due to the ongoing concession process, but NIWA is ready for its operations as soon as the process is complete.

“NIWA has put in place all necessary things for effective operation of the port and we are just waiting for the completion of the concession process. While we are waiting for the completion of the concession process, the management has entered into agreement with Connect rail Services Limited to kick start the lifting of goods from the port to other places in the country,” she said.

Onitsha Inland Port was built under the administration of President Shehu Shagari in 1983 and since then, it has been lying fallow and completely under-utilized until 2012 when it was rehabilitated and commissioned by former President Goodluck Jonathan.

It is hoped that NIWA will live up to the challenge and facilitate shipping operations in the port that will spur its activities beyond a clarion depot for trucking cargoes.

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10 thoughts on “Maersk Refutes Claims that Onitsha Inland Port is Fully Operational

  1. Ship no dey enter onitsha, what enters onitsha is barge. There’s different between barge and ship, ship will duck at onne or Lagos and then they’ll load the containers to barge and forward it to onitsha, ship carries 2000+ CONTAINERS and barge can only carry like 50 or 60 containers. But anyway it’s all a welcome development.

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    1. How do you expect a ship to sail thru a river with over 2000 containers? My dear that can only be possible if that river is properly dredged.

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  2. What the fucking hell is wrong with some people in Nigeria?!!!! A ship or a barge makes no difference. The bottom line is that the containers are coming into Onitsha through the maritime corridor. And not by road. The traders clear their consignments in Onitsha and not in Onne or Lagos!!!. Why some people sound very protective of a port and stevedoring operations in Onitsha baffles me. Terrible souls!!! I’m out of here!!!

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  3. People like you are the problem Nigeria has today, it doesn’t bother you that lies are been told the people and you think setting the records straight is been hateful? You think a barge and a ship is the same thing? Why not simply call a barge by its name? Why twist facts? Or this is supposed to be political when obviously this should be an academic discussion?

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  4. There was never a time anyone said a ship came to Onitsha. It’s technically impossible even with dredging. Go to YouTube and watch a Discovery program called Mega Shippers and see that barges are being use to move goods to inland ports or riverports. If you like let it be Lord Lugard that built it and Wike remodeled it and Atiku commissioned it, No problem. Who was president when it happened and we started enjoying it. We can all answer. Even if CEO Maersk replies by mail, it changes nothing. History will always record it against the year of the pandemic and we know who was president then. Let’s enjoy a good thing and stop with this nefarious behaviour. It smells and stinks. Some of us know the full gist

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  5. Captain Abel Onojerame · Edit

    Barges ~ By mode of construction are restricted to inland water ways and not sea going vessels as they’re being used mainly in Nigeria and the West coast of Africa.
    Draught restrictions brought about the name- ”Onitsha inland Port” meaning Cargo should be delivered by Shuttle Vessels, Barges etc… with allowable/approved sailing draught.
    To meet high operational standard of the Port, there is the need to improve or develop and build Self Propelled Barges to serve the Onitsha inland Port at all time.
    After all, LNG TANKERS were built and named with different States in Nigeria to continuously transport Bonny Liquified Natural Gas worldwide till date.

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