‘Government’s stifling policies killing Port Harcourt seaports’
The present challenges experienced at the ports in Rivers State have been attributed to deliberate stifling policies of the Federal Government, which are inimical to the growth of ports in the region.
The stakeholders, who spoke at the fourth quarter council meeting of the Nigerian Association of Chambers of Commerce, Industry, Mines and Agriculture (NACCIMA) hosted by the Port Harcourt Chamber of Commerce, alleged that there have been calculated efforts by economic enemies of the state to kill the port system in the area.
Speakers at the forum includes NACCIMA officials, Rivers State Governor, Nyesom Wike, Port Harcourt Chamber of Commerce and other critical stakeholders of the maritime and organised private sector.
Speaking at the banquet dinner, Governor Wike, who was represented by his Deputy, Dr. Mrs Ipalibo Harry Banigo, expressed dismay that ports in the area are unfairly singled out for astronomical charges which according to her has been instrumental to scaring potential importers and exporters away from the state, while other ports outside the region are fairly benchmarked in rates.
She said: “We are happy that the likes of Port Harcourt Chamber of Commerce and NACCIMA are seriously engaged in advocacy to ensure that a change is effected. I want to assure you that the Rivers State government is committed to partnering with you to achieve this objective, we also promised to exploit the potentials of the ports in reviving the state economy.”
President of Port Harcourt Chamber of Commerce, Dr Emi Membere Otaji, underscored the economic importance of resuscitating the sea ports in Rivers State, saying, “we must make Port Harcourt ports work so that everything will not gravitate to Lagos. PHCCIMA has been interfacing with key stakeholders and we will strive further to ensure our first love shipping is reinvented as envisioned by our finding fathers.
NACCIMA President, Chief Bassey E.O Edem expressed gratitude to the state government for delivering its promise to provide a permanent trade fair site for the city chamber, he also lauded them for creating an enabling environment for the organize private sector to thrive.
He said reviving Port Harcourt ports has become necessary as it will help stimulate the state economy and create strings of multiple employment opportunities, he also promised to help in the advocacy. Speaking on the essence of the meeting he said it was an avenue to review the economic situation of the country with a view to proffer lasting solutions that will position the country in good direction.
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