The National Inland Waterways, NIWA, yesterday, said that the Onitsha River Port would commence full operation by the first quarter of 2021. This was disclosed by the Area Manager of NIWA Area Office Onitsha, Anambra State, Mrs Queen Uba during an interactive session with newsmen in Onitsha.
She said that NIWA has been making frantic efforts toward full operation of a port in the South East since Dr George Moghalu assumed office. She also disclosed that the commencement of operation of Onitsha River Port was being put on hold due to the ongoing concessioning process. “NIWA has put in place all necessary things for effective operation of the port and we are just waiting for the completion of the concession process. “While we are waiting for the completion of the concession process, the management has entered into agreement with Connect Rail Services Limited to kick start the lifting of goods from the port to other places in the country.” Also speaking at the session, the Onistha River Port Manager, Mr. Baba Spencer said the port was ready for use with all the facilities needed to operate effectively in place. “While the concession is ongoing, the Connect Rail Services Limited has been contracted to use the port stacking yard as a bonded terminal to kick-start the functionalities of the port operation on temporary basis until the concession is fully concluded. “When the port commences full operation, it would reduce the cost of moving goods and human from Onitsha to other parts of the country. “The full operation of the port would promote and increase commercial activities and attract more investors into the state. “Onitsha River port was built under the administration of President Shehu Shagari in 1983 and since then, it has been lying fallow and completely under utilized until 2012 when it was rehabilitated and commissioned by former President Goodluck Jonathan.”