The Belgium Ambassador to Nigeria, Daniel Dargent has disclosed that the trade volume between Nigeria and Belgium now stands at 3 billion euros annually. This he said could increase in a few years from now.
Daily Trust reported that the disclosure was made during the visit of Belgian delegates and officials of the Port of Antwerp International (PAI) in Lagos. The visit was for the purpose of signing a five-year partnership agreement with the Nigerian Ports Authority (NPA) to enhance the efficiency of operations at the seaports of both countries.
“We see a lot of potential in the port of Lagos due to Nigeria’s growing economy. The freight transport with Europe has increased substantially. By means of this collaboration we can use our know-how to advise the port of Lagos in its further development,” Dargent said.
Speaking on the agreement, the Managing Director of NPA, Hadiza Bala-Usman represented by Executive Director, Marine and Operations of NPA, Sakonte Davies said the agreement was renewed as it was first signed with PAI years ago. She said the new agreement was geared towards building a bilateral relationship that would be mutually beneficial for both countries.
Also commenting on the deal is the Chief Executive Officer, Port of Antwerp, Kristof Waterschoot, who explained that the Port of Antwerp would play an advisory role with regards to enabling further development of Nigerian ports under the agreement.
What you should know: In all of the ports located in North-West Europe, Antwerp has the highest number of direct services to West Africa, resulting in a market share of nearly 50% amounting to freight of 15 million tonnes, which Nigeria has the highest volume of 6m tonnes annually.
About PAI: Established in 2010 by the Antwerp Port Authority, the Port of Antwerp International (PAI) strengthens ports and terminals through consultancy, management solutions, investment projects and training. Its functions include developing maritime and logistics networks while delivering recommendations, action plans and solutions for port logistics projects.