By Amindeh Blaise Atabong, December 20, 2016
Cameroon Journal, Douala – Deliberations marking the second edition of Maritime and Ports Day were in Cameroon recently under the theme: “The port sector: A compelling force of attractiveness for the promotion of investment and the acceleration of growth.”
During the event which closed on Friday December 16, in Douala, officials of the National Ports Authority, known by its French language abbreviation as APN, presented the various components of what they said will make up Limbe Deep Seaport once construction is completed.
According to Simon-Pierre Ediba, Head of Unit of Ports Investment Projects at the National Ports Authority, the Limbe Deep Seaport will consist of five main structures.
There shall be a trading port in Ngeme, a petroleum terminal for SONARA in Cape Limboh, as well as the implantation of the industrial shipyard in Lombohla. Disembarkment wharfs for cargoes and persons are previewed for Tiko and Bota, Ediba announced.
He said a cement factory and a quay of 155m will also be set up around the port, while in the long run, a multipurpose quay of 160m will be constructed.
However, many people are very skeptical of such gigantic plans for the Limbe port because for over 40 years, successive administrations in the country have made similar promises and non has ever been fulfilled.
If the project is finally realised, the Limbe Deep Seaport will bring to three, the number of seaports in Cameroon after those of Douala and Kribi.
The ports were identified at the gathering as catalysts of investments in the country. With Limbe, stakeholders of
the maritime and ports sector hold strongly that Cameroon will attract more foreign investment, boost its growth for the economy to become emergent by 2035.
Investment opportunities in the port of Douala and the Kribi Deep Seaport were also presented at the symposium.
Participants at the event challenged the management of the National Ports Authority to open its representations in the port cities of Douala, Limbe and Kribi. Until now, the organ charged with the management of ports in Cameroon is based only in Yaounde where its head office is found.
They also recommended that an organ be set up to ensure effective implementation of the recommendations taken at the symposium. Suggestions were made that the National Ports Authority be given rights to investigate application tariffs in the homologated ports services.
The recommendations also highlight training of persons in ports exploitation, maritime safety and security as well as sea jobs. With the ports sector identified as one of the key sectors to attract investors in Cameroon, it was recommended that an agency for the promotion of economic zones created since 2015, be put to service.
For safety and security in ports, it was recommended that equipment to help check bad practices on the field be put in place with swift coordination by the different authorities concerned with the development of the economic zone in Cameroon.