It is very fundamental that man’s main aim of venturing into businesses of all kinds is to make profit. Though profit tends to grow with time, a better planning, analysis and implementation strategy can in a least expected manner bring efficiency, stability and the much needed profit.
The maritime sector of the Nigerian economy is one that has a lot of resources that are been utilized in the course of its day to day operations. The resources engaged in this sector ranges from human, to finance and technological know-how.
This research study is therefore determined to optimize the cost of port operations in Nigeria with a view to critically analyse it from the perspective of linear programming model.
The quantitative estimates used here were concerned with the activities associated with the operations of Nigerian ports, the costs and the benefits derived by users of these ports etc.
A Linear Programming Model as earlier indicated was formulated from the cost components associated with the vessel-port relationships. With the aid of M for Windows Software, an optimal solution was derived.
Then the result showed indicated the minimum cost of port operations as well as the optimal time frames for the decision variables of port operations under review.
This provides a basis for future projections so as to determine the range of values of the constraints and decision variables for which the Nigeria port operations could be at minimal cost.

1.1Background of the study

In many markets, firms compete over time by expending resources with the purpose of reducing their costs. Sometimes, the cost reducing investments operate directly on costs. In many instances, they take the form of developing new products that deliver what customers need more cheaply. Therefore, product development can have the same ultimate effect as direct cost reduction. In fact if one thinks of the product as the services rendered to customers, then product development often is just cost reduction. The globalization of trade and subsequent breakdown in trade barriers has generated tremendous growth in maritime transportation. Thus the stiff competitions among part operators have increased the desire to attract port uses. Therefore, port operators will have to optimize the cost of their operations if they must benchmark good productivity and performance for their terminals.
There is no doubt that the maritime sector especially the port system is vital and instrumental to the national economic survival of the country. Nigeria is a popular nation, renowned for her international nature of business. Quality customer service is the benchmark principle for the maritime professional and customer.