Saturday, 7 June 2014

Federal Government to Dredge Channels of Five Sea Ports.

Minister of Transport, Senator Idris Umar
Minister of Transport, Senator Idris Umar, has disclosed that President Goodluck Jonathan has approved the dredging of channels of five seaports in the country to enable them accommodate bigger vessels from abroad.
Umar disclosed this during the inaugural ceremony to mark the arrival of one of Maersk Line biggest vessels, which berthed recently in Onne Port.
The minister who was represented by the Permanent Secretary in the Federal Ministry of Transport, Mr. Nebolisa Emodi, said that the five sea ports include Calabar, Lekki and Badagry, Ege, Olokola and Ibaka.
He noted that when completed, they would accommodate all kinds of vessels and thus make the nation the transport hub for large ship consignment in sub-Saharan Africa.
"The nation was in the right direction to becoming the transport and economic hub of West Africa and Central Africa," he said.
He explained that with the large shipment of goods to the port, the cost of importation and goods will reduce drastically, maintaining that the vessels from local ports around the region and from neighbouring countries would now use Lagos and Onne as trans-shipment ports.
He added that the federal government through a public private partnership  (PPP) has also embarked on the dredging of the Bonny channel to enable large ships berth at the port.
“The Bonny channel dug 12 metres deep will enable international ships with the capacity to carry 4,500 containers anchor at the Onne port, thereby boosting economic activities in the area," he said.
                            
While stressing that the Onne port would henceforth receive ships from Europe and Asia, Umar reiterated government's commitment to reposition the maritime sector for the socio economic development of the nation.
Managing Director of Maersk Line, Mr. Jan Thorhauge in his remarks, said the company initially transported 2,500 containers to Onne port because the Bonny channel was shallow.
He said the increase in volume of containers would reduce the time spent in importing goods from China and increase the trade volume between Nigeria and the Asian giant. Nigeria currently imports about 50 percent of its goods from China. (Source - ThisDay)

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