The Managing Director, National Inland Waterways Authority (NIWA), Dr George Moghalu, has expressed optimism that the recently concessioned Onitsha River Port will impact positively on the nation’s economy.
Moghalu made the expression, while formally handing over the port to Dr George Nwangwu, the Managing Director, Universal Elysium Consortium and concessionaire of the port in Abuja on Friday.
“We are here to formalise the handover of the Onitsha port that has been formally concessioned because the agreement for the concession has been signed.
“And what we are doing now is to give the concessionaire the instrument of authority to enable him move into the port and put it to active use.
“The port we believe is a very strong Federal Government asset.
“On our own part, we are very excited because I believe this is the very first successful PPP arrangement in the maritime sector. I am not sure if anyone has happened.`
“So for us it is a milestone towards a great achievement, it is also our expectation that the Onitsha river port will be run perfectly well so that it can impact positively on the economy of the nation generally speaking and the economy of the South East,’’ Moghalu said.
According to the NIWA boss, the Onitsha port will act as reference to the Baro, Oguta and Lokoja ports which will also be concessioned.
He said:“So, we look forward to a successful outing and like the former Minister of State for Transportation, Sen. Gbemisola Saraki said, Onitsha River Port “is our poster boy’’.
“It is our reference point now for the other concessionings we are trying to do like the Baro, Oguta, Lokoja.
“All of them are going to be concessioned because we believe strongly in partnering with the private sector so we can run this ports to the benefit of mankind.’’
Moghalu, on behalf of the authority, congratulated the concessionaires for being successful and winning the bid as concessionaires for this port and prayed they succeed in the project.
“With time, once I have the opportunity again, I will still visit the port.
“ With what you are doing now, I am going to inform everybody that has to do with NIWA, all our tenants that the management of the place has been given to the organisation that was successful in the bidding process.`
“Ones again I congratulate you and formally sign the papers.’’(NAN)