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‘Availability of ports in Nigeria, pathway to industrialisation’

By Adaku Onyenucheya
12 October 2022   |   3:59 am
The Chief Financial Officer of Lagos Free Zone, Ashish Khemka, has called on businesses, corporate organisations and captains of industries to consider construction of ports in the country as a pathway toward industrialisation

Lekki Deep Seaport, Lagos.

The Chief Financial Officer of Lagos Free Zone, Ashish Khemka, has called on businesses, corporate organisations and captains of industries to consider construction of ports in the country as a pathway toward industrialisation

Khemka made this known during a panel session at the maiden Nigerian Seaport Investment Forum held in Lagos.

At the event, themed: “Repositioning Nigeria’s Seaport for Investment and Trade Attractiveness,” Khemka said the potential of the maritime sector in Nigeria remained largely untapped.

He noted that there is a need for stakeholders, including the government, to provide the necessary infrastructure and reduce bottlenecks that could affect the efficiency of ports.

According to him, the commencement of business operations at Lekki Deep Sea Port by December 2022, would certainly serve as a gateway for economic prosperity for Nigeria and other neighbouring countries in West Africa.

“The port and industrialisation go hand-in-hand. You can’t have one without the other. If you have a port but don’t have any industry where you can process the raw materials, there will be no use for the port and vice versa,” he said.

The Managing Director of Nigerian Ports Authority (NPA), Mohammed Bello-Koko, who was represented by the Assistant General Manager, Operations, Ayodele Durowaiye, emphasised the need for stakeholders to harvest ideas to improve the ports and tackle the challenges.

Also speaking, the Chief Executive Officer, Welcome2Africa, Bamidele Seun Owoola, explained that the forum was for stakeholders to rub minds to proffer solutions to the myriad of issues plaguing the sector, adding that it will also help to facilitate good business relationships.

In his remarks, the Managing Director of Zenith Carex International, Dr. Adelana Olamilekan, who was represented by the Associate Director, Omolayo Rhoda, stated that there is a need for government to liberalise the sector by empowering more Nigerians to own vessels, which will reduce over-reliance on international organisations.

The forum was organised to discuss challenges affecting the industry and to find lasting solutions that will help improve trade and attract investments in the sector.