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Considering the official silence of the Federal Government in delaying the effective takeoff of long-completed Onitsha River Port, the South East Chamber of Commerce, Industry, Mines and Agriculture (SECCIMA) has called on the South East Governors Forum to open their eyes and develop seaports to grow the economy of the zone.
Business Hilights South East Bureau chief recalls that since 2015, the President Muhammadu Buhari administration had been repeating assurances to activate Onitsha River Port, but nearly seven years on, there had been no sign to fulfilling the promise to the region.
Besides, apart from the waiting Onitsha River Port, which is only waiting for the naming of a concessionaire, there are other major but yet to be developed water bodies that can serve as a world class seaport in the zone including Oguta Lake and others.
Making the clarion call for the development of a seaport in the region, High Chief John Udeagbala, former President of SECCIMA, averred that the development of seaports would not only boost the economy of the area but would attract foreign investors.
According to him, “The ports in the region, if developed, would be utilised to import and export goods at affordable rates, rather than going through the stress of Lagos seaport.”
Other demands of the chamber include urging the Federal Government to create an enabling environment to promote business growth and economic development across the country.
“We appeal to the federal government to provide Independent Power Project to power the business clusters in the region as it has done in Ariaria Market in Aba.
“We want similar gesture to be extended to other main markets and business clusters in other states of the region.
“We also appeal to the federal government to ensure that South-East benefited from the on-going rail projects from Port Harcourt to the Northern region, Chief Udeagbala stressed at the investiture of Chief Humphrey Ngonadi as the new President of the chamber in Nnewi, Anambra.
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