Only 20 percent of goods shipped into the country through Lagos ports are used in the former capital city while the rest are transported to other parts of the country, the federal government has stated as the cost on the economy of using port facilities in a corner of the country to service the continues to take huge toll on the economy.
Reinforcing the imperative to take the pressure off Lagos ports, managing director of the National Inland Waterways Authority (NIWA), Sen. Adeleke Mamora, said inland ports will be crucial in reducing logistic challenges in bringing shipping services closer to the business communities in all parts of the country.
He spoke in Onitsha, Anambra State, during a facility tour of the river port in the city. He restated federal government’s determination to towards ensuring that the Onitsha Inland Port and Waterways as well as others across the country are viable and functional.
Mamora described the NIWA Onitsha as “an economically significant area office”, said the Federal Government was determined more than ever to commence operation at the Onitsha River Port.
He expressed concern over the level of decay at the port, both in equipment and infrastructure at the Onitsha Area office, saying if revamped, the port would boost the economy of the area.
“President Muhammadu Buhari is committed to make Onitsha River Port work with the ongoing efforts to concession the facility. “We want to decongest Lagos because it is over burdened as out of 100 per cent of goods that land in Lagos, only about 20 per cent stay in Lagos.
“About 80 per cent of those goods come to Onitsha from where they are distributed to other parts of the country. NIWA Onitsha is the most lucrative Area Office we have. I have visited Port Harcourt, Calabar and Lagos, and all of those offices have what Onitsha has in terms of equipment, manpower and availability of land for expansion,” he said.
The Area Manager, NIWA Onitsha, Mrs Uche Amadi, stressed the need for Public, Private Partnership to revive the port and boost economic activities in the area. According to her, the area office has so far generated over N46 million as revenue as at Oct. 31.
“A public, private partnership arrangement will boost and diversify the revenue base of the Area office,” she stressed, while appealing to the Federal Government for operational vehicles and necessities to ease the work.