It is heartwarming to note that all maritime agencies are presently making arrangements to move cargo by barges to Onitsha Inland ports as a further effort to decongest Lagos and Apapa ports.
A Daily Trust news report quoted Dr. Bashir Jamoh, the Director General of Nigerian Maritime Administration and Safety Agency (NIMASA) as saying that the heads of maritime agencies have agreed to set up a committee to produce a work plan for a 24-hour port operations that will ensure full resumption of activities at the Onitsha Inland Port.
This resolve of the maritime agencies is coming on the heels of the announcement last week by the Nigerian Ports Authority (NPA) that it received at Onne the Maersk Line Stardelhorn vessel, the biggest container vessel to ever call at any Nigerian port. This news would finally put to an end the years of neglect of Eastern ports resulting in the congestion of Lagos and Apapa ports.
I am particularly delighted that the motion I moved on the floor of the House of Representatives on July 16, 2019 for the ‘Need to Restore the Delta, Warri, Port Harcourt, Onne, Calabar and Onitsha Inland ports in order to decongest the Apapa and Tin Can Island Ports in Lagos State’ is beginning to yield visible fruits.
My altruistic intentions for the motion was to ensure that our Eastern ports are put to maximum use, as it would not only create economic growth and employment opportunities for the benefitting States but also reduce the congestion being faced at the Lagos ports.
I sincerely appreciate the Speaker Rt. Hon. Femi Gbajabiamila, members of the 9th House of Representatives, Chairman and members of the adhoc committee on Port Decongestion for ensuring that our early footsteps led to the visible improvements we are witnessing at the Eastern ports today, which was hitherto lying in comatose.
I also appreciate the Federal Government, and the relevant agencies who ensured that this feat was made possible. I am hopeful that these improvements would be sustained and we shall in no time experience the full economic growth it would bring to the nation, particularly to the Southern States.