Upgrading port infrastructure underpins Nigeria’s economic future

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Through Steve Agbota

Acting The Chief Executive of the Nigerian Ports Authority NPA, Mohammed Bello-Koko, said building a modern and resilient port infrastructure would accelerate the country’s economic development, facilitate well-paying jobs and enable lasting peace across the country.

Speaking at a meeting with port service providers shortly after an assessment visit to Onne and Rivers port facilities on Thursday, Bello-Koko assured them of the Authority’s determination to improve the quality and the delivery of services in the ports of the East, so that they can serve as alternative competitors to the ports of Lagos.

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The NPA boss further said that the NPA, on behalf of his line ministry, is working with relevant agencies to reduce import clearance time and non-oil export processing cost, in order to complete the program of economic diversification of the federal government.

He revealed that the The Federal Executive Council (FEC) has approved the first section of the two-lane track for the evacuation of goods over a distance of 1.2 km. The next segment is expected to be performed this year as planned in the 2022 budget.

“We have budgeted funds for the construction of these critical roads. We have also observed that Onne has turned into a busy gateway, unfortunately unauthorized people have started breaking into the harbor to vandalize Authority property.

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“We have all noticed in recent months the upsurge in freight traffic in Onne, there has been an improvement in traffic here and we need to make sure that what has been experienced in Lagos is not repeated here in terms of traffic congestion. traffic and access roads, which must be free of blockages.

In line with our infrastructure development and modernization programme, we have come here to inspect the port’s internal road network, as we need to develop the necessary infrastructure that would support and support the increased freight volumes at the port of Onne and to other port locations, the DM said.

The MD disapproved of the level of redundancy of some of the port’s terminals. The Authority, he said, would review the approvals issued for the affected terminals in terms of the type of cargo so that they could start attracting appreciable cargo volumes.

He suggested that the management was considering granting further tariff breaks in some eastern ports, particularly Calabar, in view of the tariff breaks given to shipping lines and terminal operators to make these ports more attractive to shipping companies and cargo owners.

Regarding indiscriminate lorry parking on the access road to Onne Port, he explained that plans are underway to establish a lorry terminal in the area, which would be followed by the introduction of a electronic call system for trucks in the East corridor, starting with Onne Port.

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