By Godwin Oritse
APM Terminals Nigeriaâ€™s biggest terminal operatorÂ has so far invested over , about N29 billion in the last four years in upgrading facilities inÂ the Apapa port terminal.
The investmentÂ covers the acquisition/installation of IT infrastructure, trainingÂ in handling the newlyÂ acquiredÂ modern cargo handling equipment, and the construction of modern facility.
A further N10.5 billion (about $70 million) has been earmarked for investment at the terminal in the second phase of development which has since commenced
So far, government has realized about N24 billion from the operations between 2006 and 2009.
This amount is exclusive of the commencement fees and throughput fees paid by the company into the coffers of the Federal Government.
According to the Managing Director of APM Terminals Apapa, Mr. Martin Dirks, , explained that N17.6 billion has been paid by his organisation to the Federal Government as lease fees while N579 million has been paid as company income tax.
The APM Terminals boss said that other fees paid to the government were N2.6 billion as value added tax (VAT), N900 million as withholding tax, N662 million as personal income tax pay as you earn (PAYE) and an estimated N1.2 billion as duties on imports.
With 29 hectares of fully operational yard space, a total berth length of 1005metres and four berths, Apapa Container Terminal is a multi_user facility. Efficiency and productivity enhancements have resulted in a surge of non_geared vessels calling at the facility, and have reduced vessel and container backlogs. This is an important cost savings for shipping lines.
During the first quarter of last year, despite operating with only three berths,Â the terminal was able to clear the anchorage queue which had risen to as many as 20 vessels.
Enhanced performance standards and execution have enabled APM Terminals to handle the same volume with three berths as had been achieved with four berths during theÂ period review
Additional new equipment have been added including 34 new trucks and four Rubber Tire Gantry cranes (RTGs) to be integrated into the Apapa Terminal Operations to further enhance productivity and capacity.
APM Terminalâ€™s throughput grew from 409,751 TEUs in 2007 to 542,379 TEUs in 2008.
APM Terminals has invested over $100 million in improvements since assuming control of the facility three years ago, and capacity has tripled to 600,000 TEUs.
The modernized Apapa Container Terminal, which currently employs over 800 Nigerians, was formally commissioned a year ago on June 19th, 2008 by the late President Umaru Musa Yarâ€™Adua.