By Vincent Ujumadu
AWKA—THE Anambra State Shippers Association has urged the Federal Government to gazette and make Onitsha River Port functional, arguing that doing so would boost economic and commercial activities in this part of the country.
President of the association, Mr. Emma Akpaka, who spoke yesterday in Onitsha observed that if made functional, Onitsha Port could sustain the economy of Nigeria, considering the proximity of Onitsha market considered to be one of the biggest in West Africa.
According to him, abandoning the port for over six years after its completion and inauguration, was an invitation to self-inflicted hardship, adding that shippers in the area had become impatient over the neglect of the port.
He said: “Shippers in the South-East are begging President Muhammadu Buhari to gazette this port and include it into the global shipping map so that customs and relevant sister agencies can move in immediately to enforce economic activities.
“Apart from the revenue and jobs that the port can create, there will be massive development of inland waterways of host communities as well.
“Recently, Kaduna Dry Port was commissioned by President Muhammadu Buhari and as we speak, the port is operational. Let the same feat be duplicated in Onitsha River Port, instead of using different strokes for different folks.”
He said that people of the South East would resist any further attempt to use Onitsha Port as a political carrot by politicians during campaigns.