Story By Roland Ekama.
The Senior Staff Association of Statutory Corporations and Government Owned Companies (SSASCGOC) has frowned at the establishment of more specialised ports following the steady decline of cargo throughput at Nigerian ports.
Deputy President General of the union, Comrade Omeiza Jimoh Umar, stated that the country can only accommodate one viable deepsea port that could serve as a reference point where mother vessels can berth and discharge cargoes. He said plans to build more deepsea ports are not driven by economic considerations or viability but politically motivated.
Umar spoke weekend to journalists in Lagos, urging investors to channel their resources into other viable investments in the maritime sector.
According to him, cargoes destined for Nigerian ports have become unattractive in recent times which in turn would truncate any effort of establishing new ports under the new deep seaport programme.
The proposed deep seaports are located in Ibaka (Ibom) in Akwa Ibom State, Bakassi in Cross River State, Olokola in Oyo and Ogun states as well as Lekki and Badagry in Lagos.
However, the unionist said with vast opportunities for investment in the maritime industry, local and foreign investors should channel their capital into ship building and vessel acquisition that would build capacity and create massive job opportunities for Nigerians.
"Why don't our investors involve themselves in ship building and vessel acquisition which I believe will create jobs for our seafarers and more job opportunities for Nigerians?
"In my own opinion, I don't think we need more ports to be created because they are politically motived and the benefit of these deepsea ports projects are not for the common man", he added.