Activities at the eastern ports of Port Harcourt, Onne and Warri have been slowed down following continued bombardment of militants by the Joint Military Task Force (JTF).
The sustained attacks which was first unleashed on Gbaramatu village in Delta state has taken its toll on maritime and related activities in the oil rich states of Delta and Ricers as well as port cities of Warri, Port Harcourt and Onne.
Port operators and users who spoke with our correspondent in Onne and Port Harcourt ports over the weekend expressed serious concerns about the way the military actions have negatively affected businesses activities at the ports.
No new ships have berthed at the ports, as they have refused to come in, while those that have already discharged are refusing to leave the ports.
Confirming the situation, an official of one of the terminal operators told Shipping Position Weekly that “the Warri crises have already affected us, ships have refused to come in for fear of being caught in the cross-fire or attack by the militants. So they are all just staying put, watching the situation.”
Other port users also agreed that there have been a lull in business activities and that uneasy calm permeates the ports, but expressed optimism that it is only a temporary set-back which will normalize after the crises. “It is true that vessels have stopped coming, but they will come when the crises is over,” one of the maritime operators said.
One of the major activities that have been affected by the crises is the planned visit to Port Harcourt port by the board of Nigerian Ports Authourity led by its chairman, Chief Anthony Anenih. It has been put on hold following apprehension and what an official of NPA simply called security reasons .