The Managing Director of Hull Blyth Nigeria Limited, Mr. Christian Holm has offered more explanation into why his company facilitated the first call of a container ship to Calabar Port in 15 years.
While addressing members of the House of Representatives ad hoc committee investigating why Warri, Port Harcourt, Calabar and Onne ports are not being put to maximum use, Mr. Holm said Hull Blyth, which is the shipping agent to Marguisa Lines, owners of the container ship, “MN Boreas”, facilitated the visit of the ship in order to open up trade and business activities in the eastern ports.
He said the vessel made its first call to the port on September 22, 2019. “We are excited about the willingness of Marguisa Lines to invest in the port and in the new service, and all the new opportunities that open up for trade and development in Calabar and beyond, now that the port is connected with a global container liner service,” he said.
Holm, however, identified undeveloped infrastructure, shallow water drafts, poor road infrastructure and insecurity as factors hindering large vessels from calling the ports outside Lagos. According to him, port complexes outside Lagos “have not been upgraded in accordance with modern seaborne trade.”
He however said the investment by Marguisa Lines and the willingness of its customers to use the Calabar Port will be jeopardized “unless the above key issues are urgently addressed by government”.