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Port reform in Nigeria: efficiency gains and challenges

Abstract

This paper examines the impact of restructuring and privatisation on the efficiency of Nigerian ports. The main objective of the reform was to increase efficiency in port operation, decrease cost of port services to stakeholders, decrease cost to the government for the support of the port sector and to attract private sector participation. The study compared the performance of the ports before and after the reforms. Stochastic frontier model of Cobb–Douglas and Translog production function was used to determine whether the efficiency of the ports has improved after the reforms. Results of the analysis indicate that Nigeria’s ports achieved an average annual efficiency level between 59 and 75 % and there was improvement in cargo throughput, number of vessels, berth occupancy and ship turn-around time after the reform. The port specific measures indicate consistent rise in technical efficiency throughout the period. However, in spite of the efficiency gains, there are some issues which are affecting the performance of the ports: high port charges, delay in cargo clearance, multiple taxation and development of intermodal transport. It is therefore imperative for the government to assume its regulatory role in the industry.

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Correspondence to Yingigba Chioma Akinyemi.

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Akinyemi, Y.C. Port reform in Nigeria: efficiency gains and challenges. GeoJournal 81, 681–697 (2016). https://doi.org/10.1007/s10708-015-9657-z

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