The Nigerian Ports Authority regulates all major ports in the country, including the Port of Onne, although the agency is currently being privatized. The mission of the Nigerian Ports Authority is to contribute to the well-being of the national society by efficiently managing port operations, allocating and using resources to their optimum effectiveness, diversifying revenue sources, and assuring adequate returns on investments.
The Port of Onne aims to be Africa’s leading port by delivering port services in a customer-friendly environment that is safe and secure. Located about 25 kilometers south of the Port of Harcourt in the State of Rivers, the Onne Port Complex is a landlord port and a model for Nigerian port reform.
Operating since 1982 as the Federal Lighter Terminal, the Port of Onne has grown rapidly as a result of a successful public/private partnership. Situated on the banks of the Bonny Estuary on Ogu Creek, it lies within three local government jurisdictions in Rivers State: Eleme, Ogu-Bolo, and Bonny. The Port of Onne covers about 2.5 thousand hectares in Eleme, but the Port of Onne’s channel is within both Ogu-Bolo and Bonny municipal jurisdictions. The Port of Onne also operates jetties at Bonny.
The Port of Onne Complex contains two major terminals: the Federal Ocean Terminal and the Federal Lighter Terminal. The Federal Ocean Terminal has 750 meters of quay and three births. Work is underway that will bring the total length to 1500 meters and the number of berths to six.
The Federal Lighter Terminal has 1670 meters and four berths operated by Intels. The berths have been repaired and deepened to eight meters to accommodate some larger vessels.
The Port of Onne is an Oil and Gas Free Zone by Federal decree. Today, over 110 companies operate in the zone that have made significant contributions to Nigeria’s economy through their businesses of pipe-coating, selling pipes, treating waste, and building boats as well as other activities.
The Port of Onne is an important hub for oil and gas activities and logistics for West and Central Africa. About 55 service boats move through the port to service 16 offshore platforms each week. Compulsory pilotage contributes a large part of the Port of Onne’s revenues. All of the major oil and gas exploration companies in Nigeria have offices in the Port of Onne Complex.