Wednesday, November 23

Senate seeks inland Ports in Onitsha, Enugu, others

Senate seeks inland Ports in Onitsha, Enugu, others

The Senate yesterday urged the Federal government to direct the Nigerian Shippers Council to carry out appropriate feasibility studies for the purpose of establishing inland Ports in Onitsha, Enugu, Aba, Bauchi, Maiduguri and other land-locked states in the country.

The upper chamber said the ports will accelerate commerce and industry in these locations. It however mandated its committees on Transport and Works to ensure full compliance with planned establishment of Inland Ports in the designated parts of the country.

These resolutions were sequel to a motion sponsored by Senator Stella Odua (PDP/Anambra North) and endorsed by a cross section of the legislators. In her motion entitled “Need for the Establishment of Dry and Inland Ports at Onitsha, Enugu and other land-locked states”, Senator Odua said the development of dry Ports and Inland water transport in Onitsha, Aba and other land-locked areas would facilitate commercial and industrial activities in export and importation of raw materials and equipment as a major component.

She noted that the existing maritime Ports in Lagos, Port Harcourt and Calabar were being over stretched as congestion of these ports would constitute serious security threat to lives and property, especially now that there was heightened concern at crowded locations.

The lawmaker lamented that due to congestion in the existing maritime ports and the bureaucracy associated with the clearing of goods, a lot of precious time which would otherwise have been committed to other productive economic engagement is often wasted.

She noted that the concentration of maritime activities had caused a lot of avoidable loss of lives  destruction of goods due to movement of containers and heavy equipment by trucks, adding that the situation has led to stagnation of economic growth and lack of access to global market.

She expressed optimism that the creation of these alternative ports would enhance trade, industries, export and import within these zones, noting that bottom-up economic growth would give rise to global access and job creation.

However, President of the Senate, Dr. Bukola Saraki directed the relevant committees of the Senate to ensure that the federal government must give priority attention to establishment of the inland ports in the affected states.

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