NIWA boss raises alarm over rot at Onitsha port

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Senator Mamorah
By Sunny A. David, Onitsha
The new Managing Di­rector of the National Inland Waterways Au­thority (NIWA), Sena­tor Olorunimbe Mamorah has lamented the degree of rot to machineries and equipment at the Onitsha River Port.
He made the remarks during his official working vis­it to the port.
He recalled that the port, which was built in the admin­istration of former President Alhaji Shehu Shagari, had since then been left uncared for which caused most of the in­stallations, especially the ma­chinery and equipment to rot away.
His words: “Onitsha is a com­mercial city and highest in the whole of Africa. It shows the level of industry. I am here at the Onitsha River Port to have on the spot assessment of the situation at NIWA Onitsha. From Alhaji Shehu Shagari till now it is a long time.
“I was made to understand that it was refurbished in 2012 but from 2012 till now, nothing has hap­pened much till now as par full utilisation of the port. It is not a good thing for us and the coun­try.”
The good thing there is that President Muhammadu Bu­hari’s regime is rectifying the problem within the confined of the law. He is trying to revamp the place and it is reaching the final stage of concession. It is a pity that a lot has been done there, the equipment have been laying waste, ware houses unused.
We have a lot of things that are to be put to use but are not being used. Even the ma­chineries have been lying fal­low for a long time.
This is why we want to en­sure this place takes off again. There are lots of expectations. I doubt if we have this kind of port in Nigeria. A port that has three levels, lower, middle and top levels. I am aware that of the cargo that comes into La­gos, about 30 per cent of them stay in Lagos while the rest comes to Onitsha.
On the al­leged encroachment on NIWA’s property, the MD reiterated that “we will not close our eyes and allow anybody to take over NIWA land.
“If anybody has right of own­ership of the property let him come and show the documents in support of the claim. I will not be bordered about the amount of black mail and intimidation they may use as long as what we are doing is on our own in­terest”, he further stated.

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