The Federal Government has signed a deal for the concession of the Onitsha port with the Universal Elysium Consortium, stating that the concession will generate over N23 billion in 30 years.
This was disclosed by Minister of State for Transportation, Sen. Gbemisola Saraki, during the signing of the concession of the port on Thursday in Abuja, according to NAN.
The FG added that the port will bring economic benefits to Nigeria, and ensure 60% of shipped cargoes which goes through Onne port to Onitsha be transported directly.
Saraki said, ”So there is a lot of economic growth. There is going to be creation of wealth, creation of jobs, security and greater development.
”We hope it is a catalyst for other river ports, so that it will decongest other ports and bring about growth.
”You know the traffic on our road, the state of our roads as well as the tankers, and freight being moved on our roads have now reduced.
”And so it is a very good thing and we are exceptionally proud that at long last we have actually achieved this.
”It’s being signed and we look forward to the growth there to materialise.”
The Minister also disclosed that the Baro, Lokoja and Oguta ports, which are at different stages of completion, will be considered after the Onitsha port, citing that the most important thing is that the FG already has interest from potential investors who want to actually take over.
The Managing Director, the National Inland Waterways Authority, (NIWA) Dr. George Moghalu, said ”Over 60% of the containers that arrive Nigeria through Onne, Tin Can or Apapa port ends up in Onitsha and what it translates is that these containers are moved by trailers.
”Onitsha port is very well positioned to play a key role in addressing this if opportunities are provided.”
Acting Director-General, Infrastructure Concesion Regulatory Commission,(ICRC) Mr. Michael Ohiani, revealed that “After rigorous procurement process, Universal Elysium Consortium emerged as the preferred concessionaire for the concession of Onitsha River Port.
”Over the 30-year concession period, the concessionaire will be responsible for all the activities and maintenance of the port.
”The asset along with the entire infrastructure will be returned to the authorities at the end of the concession period.
”The redevelopment of Onitsha River Port is seen as a boost to commercial activities in the South East.