By Chinedu Eze
The founder and Managing Director of PrimePort Logistics, a Port Harcourt-based Logistics Company, Femi Adewunmi, has called on the federal government to ensure that all its awarded contracts at the South-south region of the country are processed at the ports in the region, to encourage traffic and increase cargo activities in the region.
The owner of Primeport, which specialises in clearing, forwarding and haulage also condemned the act of some oil companies that generate cargo in the South-South, but take same to Lagos for processing, noting that such action depletes revenues that should go to the region and at the same time deteriorate the roads by moving trucks with heavy commodities all the way to Lagos.
According to him, Port Harcourt, Lagos, Abuja, Kano and Maiduguri were supposed to be cargo hubs, “sadly only Lagos and Abuja are being fully utilised.”
He commended Turkish Airline for commencing flight into Port Harcourt and assured that the move would attract a lot of businesses into Port Harcourt and its surrounding States and cities such as Owerri, Enugu, Awka, Calabar, Aba, Warri and Yenogoa.
“Turkish Airline has made a very smart move and I think their move to Port Harcourt is going to be very successful. There has always been a gap in the South-South region. Most of the current airlines that come to Port Harcourt, such as Air France and Lufthansa, focused on the business market, such as the oil and gas market. So, there is a gap in the lower middle end of the market, such as the people that go on holidays, students and traders.
“These people have been neglected, so they tend to travel to Lagos to board an Ethiopian Airlines, Turkish Airlines, Etihad flights, amongst others. This often discourages people, as people who would have travelled frequently will think about the distance of going to Lagos and the additional cost of flights and other logistics.
“These places are between three to four hours to Port Harcourt. Hopefully, this will draw all the other type of markets, other than oil and gas into Port Harcourt and increase business activities in that area,” he said.
The PrimePort boss gave assurance that the operations of Turkish Airline would also bring in some other value airlines, so they can also tap into the opportunities in Port Harcourt.
“Once there are more people coming into Port Harcourt, there will be more opportunity and businesses. Everybody in this region will benefit and the cost of logistics and importation will be relatively cheap because you can ship closer to the place of use, rather than take it to Lagos and start trucking it for 24 hours to other states. It is more environmentally friendly for Port Harcourt to be that hub.
“In terms of cargo, it is going to create the demand. There are lots of opportunities in the South-South that are untapped. We in the clearing, forwarding and importation business and we hope that this will start gaining more traction. It will increase options for Port Harcourt. Before, we were restricted to two or three cargo airlines, now we have more. Cargo can be included in the passenger flight,” Adewunmi added.
Speaking on how PrimePort facilitates exports, he said the company is a service provider to exporters and importers and ensures logistics flow and the cost of providing logistics services in such a way that it induces exports.