Increase Patronage Of Sea Ports In Rivers, Warri, Calabar, FG Tells Nigerians

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Patronage of the seaports in Port Harcourt, Onne, WARRI, and Calabar is low because of a lack of investors’ confidence.

To reverse the trend, the Minister of Marine and Blue Economy, Adegboyega Oyetola, has assured that his ministry will work to restore the required confidence of investors to patronage them.

Oyetola gave the assurance when he inaugurated the 4.8km road “D” project and Six Marine crafts at the Onne Ports complex in Eleme Local Government Area in Rivers State.

“We are now poised more than ever before to give the Nigerian Ports Authority (NPA) all the backing necessary to address all factors responsible for the underutilization of these national assets.

“Providing the enabling atmosphere and deepening investor confidence to patronize the Eastern Ports of Onne, Rivers, Warri, and Calabar is top on the Ministry’s agenda.

“This is why I was delighted to learn that Onne and Calabar Port Complexes have met the requirements of the International Organization for Standardization and are thus ISO certified.

“This shows we are doing something right, but we cannot rest on our oars until all other Ports are certified.”

Oyetola stated how excited the Federal Government was over the ongoing reconstruction and rehabilitation of the Onne Ports in Rivers State.

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That work, he noted, was only possible after the federal government had invested $1bn in the marine and blue economy sector.

“I have been briefed on the growth in numbers especially for exports emanating from Onne Port Complex, and I am impressed and poised to provide the facilitation and advocacy required to grow the vessel traffic to this important nucleus of growth.

“Although issues concerning the potential of Onne have always dominated my correspondences with the NPA.

“I must say that this visit further convinces me that so much more can be achieved if we invest more in our Port infrastructure such as we are doing with the over One Billion USD worth of reconstruction/rehabilitation investment in our Ports including Onne which is at its conclusive stage.

“Before I cut the commissioning tape, I want to seize this occasion to commend the Management of NPA for the prudent application of resources that financed this project and to reiterate my earlier commitment to grant prompt approvals to initiatives that enable continuous improvement in the performance of our Ports.

“This road infrastructure constructed by the Nigerian Ports Authority and the mooring boats we are gathered here to commission today is another testament to the commitment of the Ministry of Marine and Blue Economy under my watch to maximize the entire gamut of opportunities conferred on us by our maritime endowments, in line with the directives of His Excellency President Bola Ahmed Tinubu.

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“The Mooring Boats are used to safely berth and unberth vessels calling at various pilotage districts. These six Mooring Boats are our way of further enhancing the security and safety of our maritime space.”

On his part, the Managing Director and Chief Executive Officer of the Nigerian Ports Authority, Mohammed Bello-Koko, explained that the road just inaugurated was a major arterial link to the new Berths 9, 10, 11 & 12 at the vast expanse of reclaimed land at the Onne Federal Ocean Terminal (FOT).

“Phase 4B houses a significant portion of the untapped potential of the Onne Port Complex, thus the completion of Road ‘D’ which is the major arterial link to the new Berths 9, 10, 11 & 12 at Federal Ocean Terminal (FOT) and vast expanse of reclaimed land already leased for port development is a link to growth in new business opportunities and increased revenue for the national economy.

“This road which stretches over a total of 4.8 Kilometres, covering two container terminals and caters to almost one thousand trucks daily is indicative of the Authority’s positioning for growth, competitiveness, and future readiness.”

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