Contract for Warri port excites stakeholders

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The N3.9 billion contract awarded for the construction of a new port in oil rich Warri in Delta state has generated commendation from stakeholders.

The coming on stream of the Warri Port would take pressure off the ports in Lagos and broaden government’s revenue net.

The Minister of Transport, Mr Rotimi Amaechi, had on Tuesday announced that the Federal Government had awarded a contract worth N3.9 billion for construction of a new port in Warri.

Stakeholders said that this was a much welcome development as the old Warri Port had become silted and was in a near moribund state.

Also, other ports in Lagos had become overstretched.

The Director-General, Nigerian Chmaber of Shipping, Mrs Obigali Obi, said that the Warri Port would cause shipping activities in the South-South Zone of the country, where Warri is located, to resonate.

Obi said, “The approval of the contract to construct the port will revamp shipping interest in the area and complement that of the Lagos Ports that has been overstretched.

“Warri is known as a maritime hub but since the port there became inactive, there has been a lull in transaction that affected other sectors of the economy,’’ she said.

On his part, Mr Obiora Madu, the Director-General, African Centre for Supply Chain (ACSC), said that the shipping community in Nigeria had been longing for the activation of the port with nostalgia.

The African Centre for Supply Chain is committed to offering specialised programmes in global business, logistics transportation and supply chain management and related fields.

According to Madu, many of the investors that throng the Lagos Ports do so, because the port in Warri is non-functional.

“They are quick to tell you how they enjoy doing business in Warri, instead of in Lagos mostly because of its cost-effectiveness compared to the Lagos Ports.

“The government will make more revenue in the area without misgivings from the port users,’’ the ACSC director-general said.

He appealed to government to ensure security in the area to enable businesses flourish by the time the port would be inaugurated.

Mr Anaba Simon, the Executive Secretary, Kirikiri Town Depot Owners Association, also commended the contract award, saying it was a welcome development.

Simon said that Warri is an oil city, and most of his members who go to Lagos to trade in oil and its products could also go to Warri, thereby decongesting Apapa.