Speaks on plans to improve service delivery
BY EGUONO ODJEGBA
Nigeria’s frontline terminal operator, APM Terminals’ West Africa Container Terminal Nigeria (WACT), Onne now have a new Managing Director, Mr. Naved Zafar.
Zafar was until his new appointment, the Managing Director of APM Terminals Cotonou, Republic of Benin. A statement made available to our report said the new helmsman will be responsible for the expansion and transformation of the global terminal operator’s strategic gateway terminal in Eastern Nigeria.
According to the statement, Zafar will be reporting to Klaus Laursen, the Country Manager of APM Terminals in Nigeria; and also, will be working closely with the senior management team in Nigeria as well as the regional team in Dubai.
According to the statement, Zafar’s return to Nigeria is to upthe ante in WACT’s mission of contributing positively to the Nigerian economy, in addition to working closely with port users and all stakeholders to raise port service delivery efficiency.
“I am happy to be back in Nigeria to contribute to the realization of the country’s economic aspiration. Nigeria, which is the largest economy and most populous country in Africa, remains an important market in the region.
“I look forward to working with relevant stakeholders towards the successful implementation of our strategic priorities in WACT.I also look forward to expanding the frontiers of service delivery to our numerous customers especially in Eastern Nigeria,” Zafar said.
Naved Zafar joined Maersk Group in 1997 as a Maersk International Shipping Education (MISE) trainee in Pakistan and spent his early years in commercial and operations functions for Maersk Line in Pakistan and Germany.
With a passion for new challenges, Zafar has spent the last 13 years in sub-Saharan Africa in various leadership roles in Nigeria, Ghana, Democratic Republic of Congo and Benin. Before joining APM Terminals, the WACT new boss had also worked as CEO for Damco West and Central Africa area.
Prior to working for Damco, he served as Head of Operations for Maersk Line for the Central West Africa cluster comprising Nigeria, Benin, Togo and Ghana as well as Country Manager for Maersk Line in Ghana and later in the Democratic Republic of Congo.
With deep knowledge and passion for Africa, Zafar is believed to have shown strength amongst the people he provided leadership – building and growing each businesses he has led, whether it is deployment of WAFMAX vessels for Maersk Line in West Africa, pushing for double taxation treaty between Denmark and Ghana, setting up new intermodal corridors between the two Congos thereby connecting Pointe Noir to Kinshasa by land or establishing a new inland office in mines rich Lubumbashi region in the Eastern DRC.
Zafar is noted to have been at the forefront of efforts at raising the stakes across the frontiers and delivering solid results while improving engagement with Maersk Group stakeholders. He holds a Masters in Commerce from University of Karachi and has attended leadership development courses at IMD.
West Africa Container Terminal (WACT), which started commercial operation in 2006, is the first Greenfield container terminal in Nigeria to be built under a Public-Private Partnership (PPP) model.
The terminal is located within the Oil and Gas Free Zone in Onne Port, Rivers State. Over the years, it has grown to become the most efficient gateway to markets outside the Lagos area.
In 2020, WACT announced a further investment USD100million in its Phase Two upgrade. The Phase Two upgrade includes the acquisition of three additional Mobile Harbour Cranes, bringing the total in operation to five; 20 Rubber Tyre Gantry Cranes; three Reach Stackers; 13 terminal trucks and trailers and an empty container handler.
The upgrade will also include the deployment of reefer racks with a 600-plug capacity, as well as expansion of the current yard, new workshop and a new terminal gate complex.