Nigerians had raised concerns on the ONNE and indeed the Eastern Ports, please look at the progress being made under Chibuike Amaechi whether it’s deserving of your encouragement
For those of you who have taken the time to commend the decongestion at lagos sea ports, & are suggesting that the reason shipping companies are taking their vessels to Onne sea ports shouldn’t be traced to any body at the Ministry of Transport..
This little education is for you.
Aside the constant pirate attacks, which made the ports unattractive for foreign shipping lines, it is believed that the channels leading to the ports are too narrow for big vessels.
Established that the channels into these ports need to be dredged, their facilities needed to be upgraded and incentives provided to enable them take up more of the nation’s maritime business and permanently fixing the decrepit port infrastructure, which was another major problem.
What did the Ministry of transport through its agency do?
In a bid to reverse the situation, the NPA, last year, commenced the dredging of Warri port at the cost of $44.861million (N16.150 billion). The dredging has been completed.
Same with the Onne port.
Aware of the perennial gridlock in Apapa as a result of the activity at the Lagos port, the NPA management announced last year that it was working with professionals in the maritime sector to make the eastern ports attractive for business.
Last year, the NPA deployed equipment worth over $30 million in Onne Port, Rivers State. The measure, which was taken by the Managing Director of the NPA, Hadiza Bala-Usman was to boost efficiency, security and make the port attractive for business.
Findings revealed that six pilot cutters, tug boats and 17-meter offshore patrol boats, have been deployed in the port to make the port attractive and stem the cycle of criminalities within and around the port.
Sources at Onne Port confirmed that it cost the NPA more than $30 million to deploy the sophisticated equipment.
Did you say the Ministry did nothing?
Up until this moment, the NPA is working on new modalities at tackling the insecurity which led to inflated cost of importing goods through the eastern ports.
In the past vessels calling at Onne Port slammed $45,000 (N16.2milion) on importers for an average of six hours per night for delay to berth. The delay, which was estimated at $7,500 per hour, was said to be caused by incessant robbery and shallow port channels.
All that has changed now? Who is doing it?
Certainly not an alien.
Worried by the problems, Transportation Minister, Rotimi Amaechi had last year, explained that one of the factors militating against the success of the maritime sector was insecurity in the Niger Delta region, which he said was hampering the growth and development of the region.
He said Niger Delta was not working because of the people in the area. He said: “How many Lagosians are on the water in Lagos? None. The reason vessels will not come to the eastern ports is because there is no war insurance on vessels because of restiveness in the region.
“War insurance means if the goods cost N10, 000 in Lagos, it will get it N20, 000 here because there is extra cost on it. There is insecurity in Lagos, but not as bad as it is in the eastern ports”
He said he was doing everything possible & within his power to make those idle flanks in the east attractive again & freed from criminal activity.
The ignorant people in the south will not see it this way.
It is crucial that he must not be honored in his home, this they have thrown everything into . But who cares?
He is Nigeria’s Minister of the Decade and that is all that matters. You don’t see it? its your fault. Nigerians know!.
By Phreedom Kodam