Residents of Onne have expressed gratitude to the federal government and the Nigerian Ports Authority (NPA) for increased activities at the Onne Port where Nigeria’s largest shipping vessel in history is at the moment.
The Onne port complex successfully berthed the Maerskline Stardelhorn vessel, one of the biggest gearless Maerskline vessels, during the weekend.
With a length of 300 metres and width of 48 metres, it is the biggest-ever container vessel to berth at any port in Nigeria.
J.D. Osaronu, paramount ruler of Onne, said the development shows the federal government has not forgotten the community.
The traditional ruler, who was represented by Jima Osaronu, a prince of Onne, said: “I wish to convey to the management of NPA, the profound gratitude of Onne community for the berthing of the biggest (Maersk) vessel to ever berth in the port of Africa.
“With this development, we believe that the federal government has not abandoned the Onne seaport and its general cargo status.”
Theo Adoki, one of the leaders of shippers at Onne Port, described the feat as a welcome development.
“I want to give kudos to the management of Nigerian Ports Authority, the port manager, the harbour master and the entire pilots in Onne Port for this great news,” he said.
“I want to use this opportunity to let the world know that the eastern ports and Onne Port in particular is ready for shipping business.”
Joseph Isang, general manager, Husbanding Maersk-APS Onne, added that the development “will chart a new course and bolster the maritime industry in the east and Nigeria as a whole”.
August 1, 2019, marked the first time in 12 years that Onne port will receive a vessel. MSC Grace berthed at the port. The vessel made a total of five voyages before it was substituted with MSC MARIA, which made a total of nine voyages in 2019.
On December 8, 2019, the port also received JPO VOLANS, the first gearless and largest container vessel (LOA of 265.07 metres) to call any eastern port.