FG concessions Onitsha port; Baro, others next

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The federal government says it has successfully concessioned the Onitsha port in Anambra State, and talks for concessioning Baro and other ports in the country are ongoing.

After a private meeting with President Muhammadu Buhari at the Presidential Villa in Abuja on Thursday, George Moghalu, Managing Director, National Inland Waterways Authority (NIWA), received questions from State House media.

He claimed that such licensing would relieve strain on the government while also bringing in cash.

“We successfully concessioned and handed over Onitsha to Universal Elison, a company that will partner with Port of Tuna for the next 30 years.”

“Now, due to limited resources and in order to reduce pressure on the government, we have initiated discussions with other interested organizations.” Unsolicited proposals have been received for the concessioning of Baro in Niger State, Oguta in Imo, and Lokoja, the capital of Kogi State, all of which are still under construction.

“So, we’re talking to them; the advantage here is that it will relieve government pressure; these people own this port, finish it, put it to use, and pay royalty to the government.”

“So it has a lot of advantages, and we’re working hard on that.”

The NIWA chief stated that Oguta River Port was not on the budget previous to his appointment but has been reinstated.

According to him, the fencing of the Oguta port has been completed, and some basic port facilities are being put in place depending on the availability of resources.

“The same is true for Lokoja, so we’re approaching it from two angles.”

“Completing the building by government and concession so that the new concessionaire can complete and effectively use the ports.”

He stated that a test run was conducted prior to the concession.

Mr Moghalu stated that goods was transferred between Onne and Onitsha while the freight movement from Lagos to Onitsha was completed.

So you find out that these jetties and ports are all in line with the rivers Benue and Niger; we are very aware of this and keep it in the back of our minds in whatever we do.

(NAN)

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