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Former Minister of Aviation and Senator representing Anambra South, Princess Stella Oduah, has called on the federal government to consider additional three Dry Port scheme for the South East considering the surging growth of merchandise in the region.
Speaking in an interview in Abuja on Wednesday, the lawmaker argued that only the emerging Aba Dry Port cannot serve the unprecedented businesses involved in import and export of goods in the region.
Business Hilights recalls that the Nigerian Shippers’ Council (NSC) had since last year approved the construction of the Inland Container Port at Osisioma, near Aba commercial city of Abia State.
Explaining more, Oduah said the three slots of Dry Ports have become necessary to boost the economic growth of the country, considering the status of the region as an emerging industrial zone.
She revealed that if the ports were in place, the rate of road accidents as well as road degradation would be minimised.
Currently, several importers and exporters who use Lagos port facilities have to suffer the inconveniences of trucking their goods on roads at high risk.
The lawmaker further noted that “Southeast is a commercial region; what we do best is trading; what we do best is industrialisation. That is innate in us; for us to be able to enhance it and export products, we must have access to the global market”.
“We already have an international airport; the second one will be to have a cargo export terminal which is why the inland cargo terminal is important.
“Unless we have that it means that for every cargo, every transaction, import or export will have to be through Port Harcourt or through Lagos.
“Without the inland ports it means that accident rate that had been reported all these years because of bad roads will continue to increase because a trader will either import or export his goods through Lagos or Port Harcourt.
“For me as a South Easterner, I think it is a right to have inland container port and government should not just build one but a minimum of three,” she said.
Giving delivery specifications, the former Aviation Minister made it clear that the container ports must come with full complements of a regular seaport and a port’s authority structure.
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