Transportation Project Topics

The Contribution of Port Industry to the Development of Nigeria Economy (Apapa Port as Case Study)

The Contribution of Port Industry to the Development of Nigeria Economy (Apapa Port as Case Study)

The Contribution of Port Industry to the Development of Nigeria Economy (Apapa Port as Case Study)


Objectives of the study

The main objective of the study is to examine the contribution of Port industry to the development of Nigeria economy.

Specifically, the study sought to assess:

  1. The impact of port industry on the Nigerian gross domestic product
  2. The influence of cargo throughput on Nigerian gross domestic product
  3. The significant influence of ship traffic on Nigerian gross domestic product.



Theoretical perspective

The purpose of a theory is to explain, analyze, and possibly  predict  future trend of events and outcomes. A theory is a generalized explanation of the relationship that exists in a phenomenon with the primary purpose of explaining and predicting the phenomena. To understand the role of Nigeria Ports Authority in the sea ports administration in Nigeria, we employed general system theory as our theoretical framework of analysis for this work. As remarked by David Easton who propounded the general system theory, system theory serves as the lens through which the activities of an organization is understood and explained. Accordingly, systems theory sees an organization as a unified purposeful entity composed of interrelated parts, rather than dealing separately with various parts of the organization. The theory gives managers a way of looking at an organization as a whole and part of the external environment. The theory makes the manager to understand the activity of any part as it affects the activity of every other parts or segments. Going by the general system theory, the job of a manager in an organization is to ensure that all parts of the organization are coordinated internally so that the organization’s goal can be achieved. Above all, general system theory stresses the central point that the management of an organization cannot respond only to what administrative laws demand but must place what administrative laws dictate into perspective with other environmental pressures. In this regard, general system theory examines Nigerian Ports Authority with a view to determining how the sea ports administration in Nigeria is done. It should explain  how the management and administrative agencies of the Nigeria Ports Authority interact with their environment. The theory makes possible the examination of formal administrative law prescription in the context of actual behavior in real organizations, such as Nigerian sea ports and other agencies. General system theory believes that if an agency like Nigeria Ports Authority has real power in its environment like in the administration of sea ports in Nigeria, it must have the ability to force the Federal Government policies on the seaport administration. Hence, if the Nigeria Ports Authority, for example, makes a policy decision, yet not authoritatively binding, it would presumably perish since the policies would not be obeyed.




Study area

The study was carried out in the Lagos Port Complex which is located at the Apapa Area of Lagos and consisted of Apapa Port and a container terminal now called APM Terminal. It occupies a land area of about 120 hectares. Apapa port has conventional berths that service all cargo types. These include 24 berths for handling dry cargo and two berths for loading and discharging petroleum products. Six of the 24 berths are designated as container berths. The total quay length of the port is 1km and the average draught of the berths is 11.5m. It has 13 transit sheds with a total storage space of 78,869 square metres and 8 warehouses with a total space of 58,042 square metres. It also has support facilities for cargo on transit to ECOWAS countries. Apapa Port Complex was released on concession to four terminal operators namely, ABTL, ENL, GDNL and APMT. The Plate of Apapa Port Complex is presented in Figure 1.




Table 1 shows the value of gross registered tonnage, cargo throughput, number of vessels, number of employees and gross domestic product of Nigeria from 2000 to 2015. The GDP was increasing from the year 2000 to 2014 except a fall in 2009. The gross registered tonnage was also started increasing from 2006 to 2015 while the cargo throughput was increasing from 2007 till 2011 before started falling 2012; though it increased to the highest in 2015. The number of vessels was higher between 2000 and 2006 than the number of employees but from 2007 to 2015, the number of employees dropped abruptly to almost equal to the number of vessels (Figure 1).

The regression model for Apapa Ports Complex was constructed based on the beta values displayed in Table 3. Thus, the multiple linear regression equation is as follows;    GDP=−73037304227.9+1.29𝑋1 +0.2𝑋2 +0.086𝑋3 +0.095𝑋4      (Equ.1)

The above equation shows that GDP will increase in average by 1.29 of a unit increase in 𝑋1, increase in average by 0.2 of a unit increase in 𝑋2, increase in average by 0.086 of a unit increase in 𝑋3 and increase in average by 0.095 of a unit increase in 𝑋4. The regression line equation is statistically significant (F=39.005; p=0.000) (Table 4).




The study was carried out on the contribution of Port industry to the development of Nigeria economy. The study was limited to the Apapa Port, Lagos state. The port operations indicators that were assessed include cargo throughput, ship traffic volume and gross registered tonnage. Apart from the fact that the findings of this study could guide the policy and decision making of government particularly in ports operations and generally in shipping, it has revealed that effective port operations is important in boosting Nigerian economy because about 90% of Nigerian bound imports pass through the seaport. It has equally established the fact that Cargo throughput, ship traffic volume and gross registered tonnage are port operations indicators influenced Nigerian GDP. Vessel gross registered tonnage was found to have a positive significant impact on Nigerian economy while the influences of cargo throughput and ship traffic volume were not significant.


The study therefore recommended that vessel gross registered tonnage should be used as the basis for assessing port dues since it has a positive significant impact on Nigerian economy; there should be improvement in the number and capacity of cargo handling equipment to enhance port operations vessel turnaround time and berth occupancy; and the

Nigerian government should develop the country’s inland infrastructure of rail and water ways. This will not only facilitate swift transfer of cargo from the ports to the hinterland but will also greatly improve ports operations by reducing congestion both in the ports and on roads.


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