Nzeribe Ebere (Licensed Customs Agent)
The River ports are not only relevant in cargo delivery, but strategic in the economics of Nigerian maritime sector. The gridlock that is being experienced in the Western zone ports would have been a thing of the past had it been the authorities concerned decentralize the Nigerian maritime policy. For example, the under-utilization of the Eastern zone seaports is a deliberate attempt to frustrate a people that are known for their simple trade which is merchandise. Both the previous government and the present have not done enough to alleviate the challenges the seaport are facing in order to bring about its potential in Cargo delivery.
Comrade Solomon Okpithe (Petroleum Depot Manager)
The only way to get Lagos decongested most especially Apapa roads is to put all the ports across the nation into full operation, not just River Ports alone. If Koko, Sapele, Rivers and Calabar ports are fully operational, the accident on our roads will reduce by over 80% because most accidents are caused by either trailers or petroleum tankers. If the ports are decentralized, the government will generate more revenue from the ports compare to whatever they generate now. It will promote effective and efficient delivery of cargos to their various destinations with less risk. On the part of Lagos, commercial activities will pick up once the roads are decongested, the economy of the state will improve tremendously vis-a -vis the nation economy. Decentralization of ports will create more job opportunities for unemployed graduates and other skilled and unskilled applicants that are taking criminal activities as profession today. I am using this medium to call on the Federal government to invest in the right direction that will reduce unemployment in the country.
Sampson Chima (Registrar, Nigerian Institute of Shipping)
River ports are very relevant. River Ports play a vital role in logistics and cargo delivery especially the hinterland where accessibility is difficult. It also lessens pressure on other modes of transport especially the road. I urge the Federal Government to utilize the full benefits and potentials of River Ports towards harnessing physical distribution and supply chain.
Boniface Okoye (NCMDLCA chieftain)
The ports in Lagos lack maintenance, so, we do not have enough to maintain the existing ports and we are going ahead to commission another port, I believe it is just a waste of funds by establishing a port in Niger State, I consider it as a political emotion. Look at what is on ground at Apapa port, you cannot get a straight access into Tin Can Island and Apapa port, this means that there is no well planned maintenance of the port, commissioning Baro Port is a political plot to bring out money and spend it. Look at the Second Niger Bridge, every year they have been giving it a political baptism. The new Baro Port is nothing to us as stakeholders, the money they wasted there should have been used to expand Apapa port, what the port needs right now is expansion , despite the fault of concessioning , they should expand the port and get some waterside.
Alhaji Abdullahi Inuwa (Dry Cargo Chairman, NARTO)
The River ports are very necessary because they will supplement the other ports in the sense that, if those river ports start operating, it will decongest sea ports because there will be a reduction in the influx of trucks coming to sea ports . So, to me, it is welcomed development and it is long overdue.
John Egesi (EX NMA boss)
River ports will always be very relevant, it will ease a lot of congestion on the roads and aid movement of goods, but we need to have a multiple types of ships. The river ports will decongest the roads, I give the government kudos for that.
Muda Yusuf (DG, LCCI)
Yes, they are still very relevant because the capacity of the ports that we have now is too small compared to the volume of cargoes that come into the country. The life expansion or major investment we had in the country was over 20 years ago and that was in Tin Can, and ever since then, there has not been any major investment. So I believe the economy has the capacity to utilize or make use of those ports.
Stanley Ezenga (NAGAFF PRO)
We in NAGAFF have advocated for multimodal means of transportation so that when the goods are cleared you can either take it through the roads or the water. Now that the Baro port has been commissioned which is a river port, it will ease traffic on the roads. This will ensure that goods cleared from maybe Lagos can get to hinterland through the inland waterways. So, I think it will ease movement and aid development along that corridor, it is a welcomed development.