Gazzete Onitsha River Port Now, Stakeholders Urge FG

Gazzete Onitsha River Port Now, Stakeholders Urge FG

From Alphonsus Nweze

Federal Government has been urged to immediately complete the process of gazetting the Onitsha River Port so that  it will commence operations.
The call was made by the participants of the 12th  edition of the “The Perspective”, an annual lecture series of Onitsha Chamber of Commerce, Industry,Mines and Agriculture (ONICCIMA), held at Sharon House, GRA, Onitsha.
The President of the chamber, Mr. Donatus Ebubeogu, who fired the first salvo in his welcome address said the  Federal Government should  as a matter of priority complete the gazetting of the Onitsha River Port for the Port to commence operation.
He however commended the effort of the Managing Director of National Inland Waterways Authority (NIWA), Senator Olorunimbe Mamora, which has culminated in the Minister of Transportation, Rotimi Amechi, approving  the declaration and gazetting of  the Port.
Ebubeogu said  when the process was completed, the Port  will formally take off, giving a measure of breath of air to shippers and businessmen around the South East.
But the ONICCIMA president expressed displeasure that after Amechi’s directive, nothing has come out it, including the concession of the Port which was slated to be completed by the of 2018 but  now embroiled in  Court cases.
He said “it will take both economic and political will to fully concession the Onitsha River Port in order to tap from it’s huge economic benefits to businesses located in the commercial cities of Onitsha, Nnewi and Aba, and save the economy the burdened cost of transporting goods from Lagos to Eastern Nigeria”.
,But the Senator Mamora who was represented by his technical adviser, assured that the Federal Government has perfected the plan to gazette the Port as the first Inland Port of Destination for Cargo coming into the county from any part of the world and origin Port to cargo going out of the country as export.
He said at the declaration, the Onitsha River Port would be also recognised by the United Nations Conference on Trade and Development (UNCTAD).
“As part of the process, the Port which has the capacity to handle about 1.2million  twenty-feet equivalent units (TEUs), is expected to be provided with the Nigera Customs Services (NCS),  Nigeria Immigration Services (NIS), Porthealth Services (PHS), and other relevant agencies of Government to enable clearance of import and export cargoes at Onitsha Port”.
The Director General, Nigerian Chamber of Shipping, Ms. Obiageli Obi, said that the Onitsha River Port technically was ready for use and has the capacity to carry 624million tons of  ” building blocks” commodity freight annually for use in the country and for export.
She said Julius Berger Construction Company Limited successfully moved all its equipment and  for the  construction of Second Niger Bridge  by water through Lagos channels to Onitsha River Port.
Said  Obi ” the continued relunctance to exploit this critical water ressource and important mode, has ensured that our nation’s roadways are consistently battered with serious mortality and negative multiplier effects to our global economic competitiveness and our quality of life”.
The lecture was attended by the Obi of Onitsha, Igwe Alfred Achebe, the traditional ruler of Abba,Igwe Leonard Eze, Dr. Okey Chidolue, the chairman of the occasion,the president, Association of Anambra Chambers of Commerce, Industry, Mines and Agriculture, Chief Humphery Ngonadi among other personalities.
READ ALSO  I Was Humbled By Poverty.... Pastor Olaitan

Leave a Reply

Your e-mail address will not be published. Required fields are marked *