Inject life into Onitsha Port, shippers tell Buhari

Posted by Osteen Oyibode, Asaba | 6 June 2015 | 4,607 times

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The Anambra State Shippers Association (ASSA), Friday, appealed to President Muhammadu Buhari to inject economic life into Onitsha River Port, which has been under lock-and-key for the past three years.

President of the association, Mr. Emma Akpaka, told journalists in Onitsha that since 2012 when the port was commissioned for the second time, not one per cent of its needed economic benefit had been achieved.

“The best politics now is to make this port a bonded wharf that will create jobs, generate revenue and develop inland waterways of host communities”, he said.

He also said shippers in Anambra and the entire South-East were not happy that the port commissioned in 1983 and also in 2012 had never taken off to bring back returns on investment for the government and the tax-payers, who are owners of the public infrastructure.

“Three years later (from 2012), we see the same President leaving office without a single cargo lifted. To commission a project twice by two democratically elected presidents is not only a clear case of policy summersault but absolute case of organized sabotage.

“Ndigbo are angry that Onitsha River Port is a fraud. Let there be equity and fair play across board, instead of using different strokes for different folks. It will be provocative for another president to commission this port again,” Mr. Akpaka stated.

The shippers’ boss called on the Nigerian Shippers’ Council (NSC) to look into the case of Onitsha Port by dispatching a team to assess and appropriate operational recommendations to the Federal Government.

“Now that Nigerian Shippers’ Council is appointed the economic regulator for ports, let a team from that parastatal be dispatched to the port immediately. While the Federal Ministry of Finance completes other assignments on the operational take-off of the port,” Mr. Akpaka added.

•Photo shows Buhari


Source: News Express

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