Nigeria’s largest container terminal, APM Terminals Apapa on Thursday celebrated the 17th anniversary of the port concession agreement it signed with the Federal Government in 2006.
The terminal operator also honoured its founders and 76 pioneer employees.
This is even as critical stakeholders including the Nigerian Ports Authority, Bureau of Public Enterprise among others who graced the occasion lauded the terminal operator for fulfilling it’s concession agreement and for growing the port industry in significant leaps and bounds.
Other dignitaries and stakeholders who graced the APMT Apapa Port Concession Anniversary include the Ambassador of Denmark to Nigeria, Ambassador Sune Krogstrup; Nigerian Shippers’ Council, Nigerian and international shareholders of the company, Nigeria Customs Service, Seaport Terminal Operators Association of Nigeria (STOAN), Maritime Workers Union of Nigeria (MWUN), shipping companies and freight forwarders, among many others.
Delivering his welcome address at the event, the Country Managing Director, APM Terminals Nigeria, Mr. Frederik Klinke said the 17th anniversary celebration was the occasion to thank the Federal Government for granting the port concession and to acknowledge the contribution of its shareholders, staff and partners to the modernization of the terminal.
Mr. Klinke said the concession enabled APM Terminals to develop the critical port infrastructure for the benefit of the Nigerian economy.
“Importantly as well, it offers us an opportunity to recognize the men and women, who through their daily efforts in the terminal, ensure cargo keeps flowing to and from importers and exporters, consumers and producers in the country.
“Since 2006, the employees of APM Terminals Apapa have been responsible for this critical task and while doing so, not only contributed to the economy by facilitating growing trade with the rest of the world, but also through the more than USD440million worth of Foreign Direct Investment done in the terminal, and most importantly, through the training and development of young Nigerians to take on increasingly senior roles in the company and further in the industry,” he said.
The Terminal Manager of APM Terminals Apapa, Mr. Steen Knudsen, while presenting the 17th Anniversary Photobook highlighting the transformation of the terminal between 2006 and 2023, said the substantial investment made by the company in facility upgrade, training, equipment and technology has boosted service delivery at the port.
“For APM Terminals Apapa, it has been a success story of transformation, improved efficiency, innovation, and value-added service,” Mr. Knudsen said.
He said the investment by APM Terminals Apapa has led to improved terminal infrastructure, including the acquisition of high-grade terminal equipment such as Mobile Harbour Cranes (MHCs), Rubber-Tyred Gantry Cranes (RTGs) and many others as well as civil works including a world standard administrative building with full information technology capacity.
Senior Human Resources Business Partner of APM Terminals Nigeria, Uzoma Ben-Ude, while anchoring the presentation of awards to the company’s pioneer staff, said, “We have a total of 76 employees that have been with us since 2006 till date which shows that we have people who have been loyal to the company and they have also grown over the years. This has been a very mutually beneficial relationship. They have worked hard and their lives have also improved.”
Also speaking, the Commercial Manager of APM Terminals Apapa, Temilade Ogunniyi, assured that the company will continue to collaborate with relevant government agencies and stakeholders to build a vibrant economy.
“Everyone has mentioned how APM Terminals Apapa has improved and transformed over the years – we owe that to our valued employees who adopted cultural and transformational changes with open arms through the past 17 years.
“I am confident to say that APM Terminals Apapa can compete favorably with terminals all over the world. What you see here is what you see in other terminals be it Europe or America,” she said.
In his goodwill message, the Ambassador of Denmark to Nigeria, Ambassador Sune Krogstrup, commended APM Terminals for being the bellwether of port operation in Nigeria. He assured that Denmark, where the Maersk group is headquartered, will continue to deepen its economic ties and relationship with Nigeria.
The Managing Director of Nigerian Ports Authority (NPA), Mr. Mohammed Bello-Koko, in his goodwill message delivered by NPA’s General Manager, Monitoring and Regulatory Services, Seyi Iyawe, was also full of praises for APM Terminals for fulfilling its concession agreement with the Federal Government and also for delivering efficient service at the port. He assured APM Terminals of NPA’s continued collaboration and support.
“You have transformed the port business and have become a force to be reckoned with. Through APM Terminals, NPA has been able to upgrade the port facility. We must also acknowledge the fact that you have been compliant to all the rules and regulations guiding the port. We celebrate your uniqueness and expertise,” Bello-Koko said.
The representative of the Director General of the Bureau of Public Enterprises (BPE), Amaechi Aloke, expressed delight over the performance of APM Terminals Apapa since it won concession of the container terminal. He said the success of the APM Terminals concession, which was the first to be concluded by the BPE in 2006, created the opportunity for the Federal Government to enter into other concession agreements to develop the port and other critical infrastructures across the country.
“I feel so proud and happy about APM Terminals’ achievement. We do some of the most difficult job – economic reform, but today it has been demonstrated that private and public corporations can work together to generate greater results. You have exceeded our expectations. Keep doing this and continue to excel,” Mr. Aloke said.
Other speakers including the Chairman, Seaport Terminal Operators Association of Nigeria (STOAN), Princess Vicky Haastrup; President-General, Maritime Workers Union of Nigeria (MWUN), Comrade Adewale Adeyanju; Customs Area Controller, Apapa Area Command of Nigeria Customs Service, Comptroller Auwal Mohammed; Port Manager, Lagos Port Complex Apapa, Mrs. Olufunmilayo Olotu and the Executive Secretary/CEO, Nigerian Shippers’ Council (NSC), Hon. Emmanuel Jime, who was represented by the Council’s Director of Regulatory Services, Mrs. Ifeoma Ezedinma, all took turns to commend APM Terminals Apapa for setting new standards for port operation in Nigeria and for providing efficient services at the port in line with global best practices.