The top management of AP Moller Terminal (APMT) visited the head office of Nigerian Shippers Council to discuss better alignment and improved collaboration between the company and Shippers’ Council.
The team led by Igor van Den Essen, the Regional Managing Director, APMT Africa & Europe, stated that the visit was also an opportunity to introduce the new country manager to the Council.
Van Den Essen stated that Nigeria is of strategic importance to APMT adding that the visit was to ensure the continuation of the long standing relationship.
The Executive Secretary and CEO of the Council, Rt. Hon Emmanuel Jime tasked the management of AP Moller Terminals (APMT) to see to the restoration of rail linkage for the evacuation of cargoes from the port, particularly to the Inland Dry Ports and to the hinterlands.
Jime who was represented by the Director Regulatory Service of the Council, Ms. Ifeoma Ezedinma stressed that the Minister of Transportation, Mau’zu Sambo had instructed that the rail linkage to the ports should be restored for cargo evacuation. She however stated that the Council is looking forward to a collaboration between it, APMT and the Nigerian Railway Corporation (NRC) to achieve this feat as quickly as possible. Ezedinma urged the terminal to ensure it registers with the Council in order for it to be officially recognized as a regulated service provider.
Speaking on scanning machines, Ms Ifeoma noted that for ease of business the digitalized port process needs to be adopted. She urged the terminal to ensure its processes are 100% digital.
The newly appointed country manager Frederik Klinke revealed that Nigeria is the largest country for APMT’s operations in Africa. He further emphasized the importance put on Nigeria as a country. Noting the importance of rail as a mode of cargo evacuation, he expressed surprise that it is not the primary mode of transportation for cargo considering its efficiency.
The Director, Consumers Affairs Dept of the Council, Chief Cajetan Agu, informed the delegation that Shippers Council is charged with the mandate of curbing inefficiencies; it therefore expects quality service. He noted that container positioning improvement will go a long way to improve efficiency.
He further stated that the dwindling oil revenue has necessitated the need for diversification of revenue generation and this is where export comes into play. He urged the terminal to ensure an efficient export process.
In an interview with The Forum, Igor van Den Essen stated that APMT as a global investor has significantly invested in Apapa terminal and the Onne terminal disclosing that it has invested over a hundred million dollars in Onne and hopes to complete the project by third quarter of 2023.
In his words, “APMT is an international group, we have our plans but we want to be able align better with the government vis a vis the terminal and the port industry and see how we can collaborate better, bring our expertise as industry leaders and work with the government on projects that will enhance the economy of Nigeria especially in respect to the terminal and maritime sector.
“The challenges are first with our process. We are constantly looking at how to improve our process because we need to get the vessels in and out as fast as possible and then we need to make sure there is efficiency so that shippers can have access to their goods. The flow of the goods is not restricted to us on the waterside it is also connected to what happens outside. So the infrastructure outside and also the procedures needs to be more efficient.”
L-R: Kayode Daniel, Govt. Relations Manager, APMT, Apapa, Rotimi Anifowose, Deputy Director, Strategic Planning and Research Dept., NSC, Chinenye Deinde, General Manager, Legal and Corporate Affairs, APMT, Cajetan Agu, Director, Consumer Affairs Dept., NSC, Igor van Den Essen, Regional Managing Director, APMT Africa & Europe, Ifeoma Ezedinma, Rep. ES/CEO, NSC & Director, Regulatory Service Dept., NSC, Frederik Klinke, Newly Appointed Country Managing Director, APMT Nigeria, Philip Eduwa, Director, General Services Dept., NSC, Courage Obadagbonyi, Chief Financial Officer, APMT, Christian Chimezie, Deputy Director, Inland Transport Service, NSC.