FG Targets N50bn from Onitsha River Port 30-year Concession
James Emejo and Folalumi Alaran in Abuja
The Infrastructure Concession Regulatory Commission (ICRC) has said the federal government has approved a 30-year concession of the Onitsha River Port.
The facility which is under a Rehabilitate-Operate and Transfer (ROT) arrangement, aims to generate about N50 billion and would serve as an alternative source of transporting goods to the south-east from Lagos, Port Harcourt and other areas with adequate water connectivity.
The approval given by the Federal Executive Council (FEC) followed a detailed process under the regulatory guidance of the ICRC which commenced in 2011 with support from the World Bank.
The Onitsha River Port was officially opened over three decades ago but had been neglected and had not been optimally utilised.
Also, the Onitsha River Port remained one of the four River Ports in the country with others situated in Lokoja, Kogi State; Baro in Niger State and Oguta in Imo State.
The commission, in a statement issued by its acting Head, Media and Publicity, Manji Yarling, pointed out that the concession was part of the bigger federal government’s plan to concession the remaining river ports and enhance inland waterways transportation in the country.
He said the concession would also create thousands of direct and indirect jobs, while facilitating more efficient trade within the country through cheaper, easier and cleaner method of transporting goods and services.
He said: “The port is equipped to deal with general cargo such as containers, bulk cargo and other packaged freight. The port has a land area of over 12 hectares.
“The wharf is 324 meters long with a further provision for additional expansion of 234 meters. The port also has facilities such as storage workshops and parking areas to cater for operations.”