We’ve successfully concessioned Onitsha River port – FG

The federal government has announced that it has successfully concessioned the Onitsha port in Anambra, while also pursuing its plan for the concessioning of other ports across the country.


This was disclosed by George Moghalu, managing director of National Inland Waterways Authority (NIWA), after a private meeting with President Muhammadu Buhari at the presidential villa, on Thursday, April 20. 


Moghalu who revealed that this would attract more revenue, added that discussions are ongoing for concessions of Baro port as well as Oguta and Lokoja ports that are still under construction. 


He said; 


“For Onitsha river port, we have successfully concessioned and handed over to Universal Elysium. It is a company that is partnering with the port of Antwerp for the next 30 years. 

“Now, because of limited resources and to reduce pressure on the government, we opened up the discussion with other interested organisations, unsolicited proposals have come for the concessioning of Baro, for the concessioning of Oguta and Lokoja — though still under construction.

“So, we are discussing it with them. The advantage here is that it will reduce pressure from (sic) the government, these people own this port, complete the port, put the port to use and pay royalty to the government. So, it has a lot of advantages. We are working conscientiously on that.

“Before I came to office, Oguta River port was not on the budget for quite a while, but we eventually brought it back to the budget.

“As we speak, we have finished fencing the Oguta River port. And we are doing little by little, depending on resources available to put in place some basic infrastructure that are required for a port to operate.

“Same is applicable to Lokoja. So, we are taking it from two perspectives. Completing the building by government and concession or concession it so that the new concessionaire can complete the ports and put it to effective use.”


Moghalu who further revealed that big ships are expected to berth at Onitsha port soon, also stated that dredging is not the only priority for the agency as other activities must be fixed.


He added; 


“All the resources, all the money available for NIWA this year, are not all dedicated to dredging or to opening up of channels.

“There are other issues that take up resources; human capital development, development of infrastructure, building new jetties, building new ramps across the country and then getting vessels also and putting them to effective use.

“So, what we are doing is, as much as we have, we try to prioritise, but the important thing is that the key aspect of it, is the human, the Nigerian, what affects them more, is what gives us the opportunity for more benefit.”

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