A leading Igbo sociocultural organization, Igbo Bu Igbo, has hailed the federal government for opening the Eastern Ports after several calls by stakeholders over the years.
In a statement signed by its Chancellor, Dr Law Mefor, and the Secretary-General, Mazi Chidi Omeje, the group said it was “commendable that the federal government through the Nigerian Ports Authority (NPA) finally opened the Eastern Ports which apart from decongesting the Apapa Port and easing the traffic gridlock caused by the congestion there, serves as a veritable route to shipping operators whose vessels are left unattended to for long periods as a result of the congestion at Apapa”.
Continuing, Igbo Bu Igbo said, “It is heartwarming to note that shipping operators like Maersk Line have started using the Eastern Ports and are reaping the huge benefits already alongside with the attendant advantages to the business community, stakeholders in the maritime sector and the nation’s economy at large.
“We must express gratitude to the federal government for the deliberate measures it has taken to revive these Ports especially with $44.861million dredging of Warri Port and another $30million spent in dredging the Onne Port in Rivers State. This is in addition to the 10 per cent discount given on harbour dues in all terminals in the Eastern Ports for certain classes of vessels, including the deliberate diversion of excess cargo from the Lagos to the Eastern ports of Port Harcourt, Onne, Warri and Calabar, all of which have drastically reduced transit and waiting periods for cargo owners. Gradually, life is returning to the maritime sector of the East and Nigeria as a whole is the bigger beneficiary of such sound economic measures.
“We urge the federal government to consolidate on the gains already made by the opening of the Eastern Ports by ensuring that all necessary infrastructure needed to make this development a lasting one are put in place even as we also call on them to exploit the scientific, technological, engineering and entrepreneurial prowess of the East for the benefit of the nation”, the statement concluded.