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By NBF News
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The investment of US$15 million (N2.3 billion) by the concessionaire of Lilypond Container Terminal (LCT), the A. P. Moller-Maersk (APMM) Group, has greatly improved the fortunes of the once moribund terminal.

Cluster Director, APM Terminal Inland Container Services, Central Africa, Bola Bamidele, said in Lagos that operations at the terminal peaked in 2011 with a record cargo throughput of 47,000 TEUs.

According to her, 'Lilypond had zero throughputs when we took over the facility a little over five years ago. We started off from ground zero but we have since turned it around. In 2010, cargo throughput was 23,000 TEUs but this doubled to 47,000 TEUs in 2011 and we expect more growth this year. We also plan to spend additional $5 million this year to further upgrade the terminal and the administrative building.'

Bamidele disclosed that her firm invested the princely sum on safety, people, equipment, information technology and better infrastructure.

The Lilypond ICD boss also disclosed that cargo dwell time in the industry has reduced significantly since the port concessioning thereby reducing customer costs when compared to the pre-concession era.

She said that the role of Lilypond terminal and other ICDs is to help decongest the Nigerian ports in Lagos thereby reducing the cost of doing business to the end users.