Nigeria Table of Contents
Nigeria's port system consisted of three complexes--Lagos, Rivers, and Delta--and the port of Calabar. The Lagos port complex was by far the most important, handling most of Nigeria's cargo. In addition to the cargo ports, two specialized tanker terminals handled crude oil exports.
The Lagos port complex consisted of the large quays at Apapa and new, smaller facilities at Tin Can Island west of Apapa. Apapa was Nigeria's principal cargo port and had direct rail connections to the national system. Docking facilities at Warri, Sapele, and several smaller towns near the mouth of the Niger River comprised the Delta complex. The main element in the Rivers ports complex was Port Harcourt, starting point for the eastern line of the Nigerian railroads and located sixty-six kilometers from the sea on the Bonny River. Calabar, eighty-three kilometers up the Cross River, served as eastern Nigeria's main port. Nigeria's crude oil was exported through modern facilities at Bonny, near Port Harcourt, and Burutu, near Warri.
Import restrictions imposed in 1982, a soft worldwide crude oil market, and a decline in the country's crude oil exports throughout the 1980s caused a sharp decrease in oceangoing trade. In addition, the government shifted development funds in the last half of the 1980s from improving deepwater ports to building river ports in the hope that increased passenger traffic on the nation's inland waterways would relieve the strained highway system.
Data as of June 1991