The Managing Director, National Inland Waterways Authority (NIWA), Dr. George Moghalu, has expressed optimism over the economic and community based developmental potentials of the Burutu ports in Delta state, when fully operational for commercial purposes.
Making this assertion shortly after an official tour of the port in Burutu, yesterday, the NIWA boss noted that with the visible prospects of the port, interms of sea depth, anchorage and large expanse of warehouses, the port has the capacity to be an alternative route to the decongestion of the Lagos port.
He expressed confidence on the commitment of present government led by President Muhammed Buhari, to create the necessary enabling environment for the commercial potentials of the port to be fully harnessed, especially with its commitment to the diversification of the nation’s economy.
According to him, “Parts of the reasons that informed my visit to the Burutu Port today is to have a good knowledge of the place and as you can see it’s a big Port and we are going to work according to what we have on ground”.
“I cannot tell you how soon they are going to start operation. But I can tell you that some of the badge operators are ready to pass through Onne, Onitsha and Burutu. Some are ready to pass through from Onne to Onitsha without necessarily passing through Burutu”.
“But the advantage Burutu had which we are trying to take advantage of is that a lot of container can come at a time because of the depth. Up to five hundred containers can come to Burutu. They have a capacity to store up in term space within the port area and warehouses”.
“We want to bring consignments to Burutu and then badge then and move them to Onitsha and other neighbouring big commercial cities across this region”, he stated.
“If you get Burutu Port working now there is a lot of advantage apart from economic impact on its immediate environment, the employment opportunity that would be provided will add to the GDP and support the economy. It is in our own best interest that we make sure it works”.
“My excitement is that the present government is determined to diversify the economy and it also understand the importance of the marine sector in driving this agenda”.
Earlier in his speech, the Chairman, Akewa Colmar Terminal Limited, (the consortium handling the reactivation of the moribund Burutu Port) Dr. Kenneth Donye, applauded the commitment of the federal government towards the successful revamping of the Port.
He noted that what moltivated him to have special interest in bringing the Port back to life was becaude of its job creating potential for the teeming able bodied youths from the area and the socio-infrastructural development such a place would bring to bear in Burutu community and its environs.
He restated hope that in the next one month the Port would have been opened to business, as many importers have shown interest in bringing their containers in through barges to the Port for easy movement to their locations on the land, hereby reducing the stress and bureaucratic bottlenecks of using the Lagos port.
Meanwhile, the Warri Area Manager of the National Inland Waterways Authority (NIWA), Engr. Mohammed Dangana, had solicited the assistance of the Managing Director, Dr. George Moghalu, in the area of providing logistics support, operational facilities and adequate staff welfare as well as security to the area office.
He noted that the Area office had done so well in the area of revenue generation in previous years and can do more if provided with the needed working tools and enabling environment to performance even better on the job.