DELIBERATE STIFLING POLICIES BANE OF RIVERS SEA PORTS - PHCCIMA, NACCIMA, GOV WIKE & MARINE STAKEHOLDERS IN BROAD CONSENSUS
Broad consensus has once again re-echoed that present dilemma experienced in the Nigerian Ports Authority and other ports in Rivers state has been as a result of deliberate stifling policies targeted to kill ports in the region; according to sampled opinions, there have also been calculatedefforts by economic enemies of the state to kill the port system in the area.
National Association of Chamber of Commerce, Industry, Mines and Agriculture, NACCIMA, Rivers State Governor, Nyesom Wike, Port Harcourt Chamber of commerce and other critical stakeholders of the maritime and organized private sector, corroborated this at the 4th Quarter Council Meeting of the Nigerian Association of Chambers of Commerce, Industry, Mines and Agriculture (NACCIMA) hosted by the Port Harcourt Chamber of Commerce at Hotel Presidential, Port Harcourt.
Speaking at the banquet dinner, the executive Governor of Rivers state, Chief Barr Nyesom Wike who was represented by his deputy, Dr. Mrs Ipalibo Harry Banigo expressed shock why 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.
Hear her: ‘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’ she said.
President of Port Harcourt Chamber of Commerce, Dr Emi Membere Otaji in his remark underscored the economic importance of resuscitating the sea ports in Rivers state. According to him, 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 Rivers 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 and thanked PHCCIMA for being a wonderful host.
The NACCIMA 4th quarter council meeting Banquet dinner event also witnessed a Lecture by, Prof. Bamidele Badejo, a onetime commissioner for transport Lagos state, on the Topic: ‘Re-inventing Port Harcourt as a Port City’, where he reiterated that we are sitting on assets without taking advantage of it. The event also witnessed the launching of the second edition of Commerce Port Harcourt magazine by the deputy governor and presentation of awards to the Governor, Guest Lecturer and the NACCIMA President by the host PHCCIMA.
Highlight of the NACCIMA two day event was courtesy visit to Nigerian Ports Authority, Port Harcourt port where they met with the port manager, visit to the construction site of BUA group and Olam International and an elaborate cocktail party to mark NACCIMA President’s wife’s birthday.