Nigeria, Belgium Mull Seaport Development Initiatives

The Manager, Port Projects, Port of Antwerp International, Belgium, Philippe Droesbeke, has stated to members of the Nigerian Shippers’ Council (NSC) that the management of Port of Antwerp International will work together with the NSC to explore ways of decongesting the Lagos ports.

Speaking to newsmen, Droesbeke said he was at the NSC headquarters to share Port of Antwerp’s experiences with other ports abroad as the company set up a subsidiary dealing with consultancy in the management of ports and ports processes.

Droesbeke stated further that they are a daughter company of the Port of Antwerp and are really internationally focused with a need to put their experience to use.

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With an MoU with Nigerian Ports Authority (NPA) and working with them on different aspects, they are also partnering private companies to improve port process.

He stated that multimodal connection is one of the solutions to the congestion at Nigerian ports, urging the country to shift from its overreliance on roads for cargo evacuation.

Executive Secretary of NSC, Mr. Hassan Bello

The Port of Antwerp handles over 140 million tonnes of cargoes annually, but deploys multimodal approach for cargo evacuation with rail carrying 50 percent, barges responsible for 40 percent, while the roads only handle 10 percent.

While corroborating Droesbeke’s views on port development and supporting infrastructure, the Executive Secretary of NSC, Hassan Bello explained that Nigeria has identified these issues and prioritised them in the development of deep seaports.

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Also speaking during the courtesy visit, the Executive Secretary, Nigerian-Belgian Chamber of Commerce in Lagos, Paulette Van Trier expressed delight at the meeting, noting that the Chamber has been working assiduously to improve trade between both countries.

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