The Economic Development of Nigeria: Report of a Mission Organized by the International Bank for Reconstruction and Development at the Request of the Governments of Nigeria and the United Kingdom

By World Bank | Go to book overview

TECHNICAL REPORT 18 WATER TRANSPORT

I THE PORTS

A HISTORY
The first ports of Nigeria were Akassa and Forcados (transit ports for Niger traffic), Calabar and Victoria. Port activities began at Lagos following the opening of the sand bar at the entrance to the harbor in 1913, and the port started operations simultaneously with the completion of the railway line to the North. About that time, Port Harcourt was constructed as a port terminal for the eastern branch of the railway. At the present time nine ports are open to ocean-going vessels. They fall into three categories:
1. National ports, serving the whole country ( Lagos and Port Harcourt).
2. Regional ports, serving a limited hinterland (Sapele, Degema (Abonema), Calabar, Victoria (Bota) and Tiko).
3. Ocean-Niger transit ports (Warri and Burutu).

All ports except Calabar and Bota are entered through channels and over sand bars which limit the draught and make frequent and extensive maintenance necessary. The ports are shown on Map 13.


B TRAFFIC

The volume of foreign and coastwise traffic at the different ports is shown by Tables 1 and 2.

Since 1938 export traffic has increased by approximately 70%, while import traffic has trebled, as shown by Table 3, which also shows the increased importance of the national ports.

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