Productivity change in Nigerian seaports after reform: a Malmquist productivity index decomposition approach

Felicia O. Nwanosike, Nicoleta S. Tipi, David Warnock-Smith

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

15 Citations (Scopus)


During the 1990s, Nigerian seaports were considered inefficient, unsafe due to massive cargo theft (wharf rat phenomenon) and one of the most expensive port systems in the world. This resulted in long turnaround times for ships and increased container dwell times. As a result, port operations were transferred to the private sector through concession contracts. This paper employs a Malmquist productivity index (MPI) technique to benchmark pre-and post-reform total factor productivity growth of the six major Nigeria seaports (Apapa, Calabar, Onne, Port Harcourt, TinCan Island and Warri) for the period 2000–2011 which represents six years before (2000–2005) and six years after (2006–2011) the reform. The results indicate progress in technical efficiency of the ports after reform but deterioration in technological progress. Overall productivity growth was higher in the pre-concession period compared to the post-concession period. The source of pre-concession period productivity growth was technological progress while the change in productivity of the post-concession period is generated by an increase in scale efficiency. This suggests that concessionaires have not brought in the much anticipated investment in modern technology to drive port efficiency. The ports of Calabar and Apapa experienced the highest productivity growth while lowest result was Onne.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)798-811
Number of pages14
JournalMaritime Policy and Management
Issue number7
Early online date2 Jun 2016
Publication statusPublished - 2 Oct 2016


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