09 February 2014, Lagos – IN a bid to encourage the use of the newly rehabilitated Onitsha River port, the Federal Government has pledged to provide security for cargoes consigned to Onitsha River port.
Disclosing this at the 2014 stakeholders Conference held in Onitsha weekend, Mr Nebolisa Emordi urged importers to begin to consign their cargoes to the port as the government is ready to complement the full cargo security escort provided by the Nigeria Customs Service, NCS.
He noted that government will bear the cost of providing security for Onitsha bound cargoes adding that it is the responsibility of government to provide safety and security.
He explained that since the port was commissioned over one year ago, it has not been put into proper economic use saying that “the Conference is therefore organized to bring all relevant stakeholders together to sensitise them about the Federal Government Concession programme and the progress made to date as well as deliberate on other options on how the port can be put into economic use pending conlusion of the Concession process”.
He noted that sitting of the Onitsha River port was in recognition of the fact that Onitsha is the business hub of the Eastern part of Nigeria with the largest market in West Africa.
He said “I have no doubt that the collaborative effort of the National Inland Waterways Authority, NIWA, with the Onitsha Chamber of Commerce and Industry and the Anambra State Government as well as other stakeholders will produce a robust roadmap on how to maximize the use of the port for the entire region.
“I am aware that some transport companies have been transporting tiles from Lokoja to Onitsha in commercial quantities along the dredged channel of the River Niger which span from Warri, Onitsha through Agenebode, Iddah, Jamata through Baro in Niger State, a distance of 572 Kilometer.
“I wish to reiterate that the hosting of the stakeholders Conference by NIWA is a demonstration of the much needed infrastructure, creation of job opportunities to enhance economic growth”.
*Godwin Oritse – Vanguard