The Infrastructure Concession Regulatory Commission (ICRC) has said that the Onitsha River Port will serve as an alternative source of transporting goods to the South East from Lagos, Port Harcourt and other areas with adequate water resources.
Spokesperson of ICRC Manji Yarling noted in a statement that the 30-year concession, approved by the Federal Executive Council, under a Rehabilitate-Operate and Transfer (ROT) arrangement, targets a revenue generation of N50 billion.
The approval, she added, followed a detailed process under the regulatory guidance of the Infrastructure Concession Regulatory Commission (ICRC) which commenced in 2011 with support from the World Bank.
The Onitsha River Port was officially opened over three decades ago but has been neglected and not been optimally utilized. The Onitsha river port is one of the four river ports in the country with others situated in Lokoja, Kogi State; Baro in Niger State and Oguta in Imo State. ‘This concession is part of the bigger Federal Government’s plan to concession the remaining river ports and enhance inland waterways transportation in the country.
‘The 30-year concession is expected to generate over N50 billion to the Federal Government and create thousands of direct and indirect jobs while facilitating more efficient trade within the country through a cheaper, easier and cleaner method of transporting goods and services. ‘The Port is equipped to deal with general cargo such as containers, bulk cargo and other packaged freight. The Port has a land area of over 12 hectares.
‘The wharf is 324 meters long with a further provision for additional expansion of 234 meters. The port also has facilities such as storage workshops and parking areas to cater for operations,’ she explained.