Anambra Shippers Association beckoned on FG to revitalize Onitsha River Port. In line with Anambra State Shippers Association commitment to enhance seamless, easy and affordable importation of goods and services in Southeast Nigeria, the Association has made a passionate appeal to the federal government to consider bringing the Onitsha River Port back to life.
In a statement issued by the association through its President Mr Emmanuel Akpaka in Enugu on Saturday, they reiterated the economic importance of the Onitsha River Port to the region’s economy and the country at large.
It could be recalled that the Onitsha River Port was inaugurated by the former President Goodluck Jonathan in 2012 shortly after its’ construction.
According to Emmanuel Akpaka,
“To abandon Onitsha River Port for over six years after its completion and inauguration is the invitation to self-inflicted hardship’’.
According to him, the people’s expectations for takeoff of economic activities in the port have been `deferred’ for too long.
“Shippers in the South-East are begging President Muhammadu Buhari to gazette this port into the global shipping map so that customs and relevant agencies will immediately enforce economic activities.
“Apart from revenues and jobs creation, there would be the massive development of inland waterways of host communities as well.
“Recently, Kaduna Dry Port was commissioned by President Mohammadu Buhari.
“As we speak, the port in Kaduna is operational. Let the same feat be duplicated in Onitsha River Port instead of using different strokes for different folks.
“Again, let the benchmark in Nigerian ports be the same across the board, instead of promoting price differentials by government agencies who use it as a ploy to frustrate shipment of containers to eastern ports,’’ he said.
“If Royal Niger Company (now UAC) used this port before and after Nigeria’s independence for its imports and exports, why can’t we do same in this millennium, when technology has greatly influenced the ease of doing business?
“Please, let us manage Onitsha River Port now as if Nigeria has no oil at all,’’ he said.
Left to see if President Muhammad Buhari will think in this direction as the economy and wellbeing of the people should come first before any form of affiliation.
Raphael is a seasoned and dynamic writer, with interest in Banking, personal finance, entrepreneurial development. A councillor and motivational speaker.