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NPA enters a deal with PAI, Europe’s second-largest port, to enhance ports' operations

The Port of Antwerp is known in Africa as the maritime centre of Europe because of its numerous supply chain connections.

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Nigeria Ports Authority (Photo Credit: Pulse.ng)

The Nigeria Ports Authority, NPA has entered a deal with the second-largest port in Europe, the Port of Antwerp International, PAI to enhance ports’ operations in Nigeria.

NPA and PAI signed the five-year partnership agreement in Lagos on Wednesday.

By this agreement, which is expected to last for five years with an option of renewal, the Port of Antwerp would play an advisory role with regards to enabling further development of Nigerian ports.

The Port of Antwerp is known in Africa as the maritime centre of Europe because of its numerous supply chain connections.

Of all ports in North-west Europe, Antwerp has the highest number of direct services to West Africa, resulting in a market share of nearly 50 per cent amounting to the freight of 15 million tonnes, which Nigeria has the highest volume of six million tonnes annually, according to a Thisday report.

Speaking at MoU signing ceremony, NPA Managing Director, Hadiza Bala-Usman, said the NPA is renewing its 19-year agreement which it first signed with PAI years ago.

Represented by NPA Executive Director, Marine and Operations, Mr Sakonte Davies, Bala-Usman said the new agreement was geared towards building a bilateral relationship that would be mutually beneficial for both countries.

Also, read 20 Ships Carrying Frozen Fish, Others To Dock At Lagos Ports

According to her, the partnership agreement was in line with the vision of the management of the NPA of making Nigeria ports, the leading port in Africa, owing to the fact that Belgium port is the second leading port in Europe and 12th in the world.

She said the MoU would give the authority the opportunity to tap the wealth of experience that PAI has exhibited in Europe, expressing optimism that the partnership deal would grow the mutual aspirations of the two countries.

Earlier, Belgian Ambassador to Nigeria, Daniel Dargent, who said the visit to the NPA was part of the third trade mission of Belgian potential investors to Nigeria this year, stated that the new agreement provided both countries with an opportunity to expand their trade volume.

"We see a lot of potential in the port of Lagos due to Nigeria's growing economy. Freight transport in Europe has increased substantially. By means of this collaboration, we can use our know-how to advise the port of Lagos in its further development," said PAI Chief Executive Officer, Kristof Waterschoot.

He said the agreement underlined the ambition of PAI to consolidate and further develop its already strong position in West Africa.

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