New seaports will boost nation’s economy, says Amaechi
Minister of Transportation, Chibuike Amaechi, has said no nation can have an efficient transportation system without functional and efficient seaports, saying the Federal Government was targeting three new seaports in Onne, Rivers State, Lekki in Lagos and Warri, Delta State.
Amaechi, a former Governor of Rivers State, stated this while delivering the 2021 Founders Lecture at the University of Port Harcourt, yesterday, on The Role Of Transportation In Nation Building.
He said transportation was the same as logistics and that its absence would cripple the nation’s economy, adding that government was prioritising the sector due to its importance.
His words: “This administration wants to build new seaports, because even if we dredge the existing ones 100 times they will be filled again within one month and that is why we want to build fresh ones. With the three new seaports, we will move from three per cent of the country’s Gross Domestic Product (GDP) to six per cent.”
He also disclosed that by September, a University of Transportation would be established at Ubima in Ikwere Council of Rivers State to further enhance learning and specialisation in the sector.
Continuing, he said corruption was rife in Nigeria because the thieves have not been jailed or punished, stressing that until corrupt politicians are jailed, the menace will continue in the country.
Amaechi, who urged Nigerians to stop celebrating those who fraudulently enriched themselves by stealing public funds, warned that such acts encourage corruption, insisting that President Muhammmadu Buhari’s administration was determined to fight the menace.
The minister noted that Nigeria was borrowing to ensure that the necessary infrastructure were built for the masses, stressing that the country does not have enough money at the moment to do all that are needed to be done.
Chairman of the occasion and former Vice Chancellor of the University, Prof. S. J. Cookey, lamented that the Bonny Seaport was moribund and unutilised, urging the relevant authorities to pay attention by revitalising the nation’s seaports to grow the economy.
Other stakeholders at the meeting lamented that the South-South region produces the wealth of the country, lacked critical infrastructure and urged the Federal Government to pay attention to coastal railways, land transportation and internal transport systems.
Vice Chancellor of the University, Prof. Stephen Okodudu, said at 46, the University had come of age, adding that Amaechi’s choice, an alumnus of the institution, as Speaker was to show cause to the world of the depth of intellectuals resources deposited in the institution.
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