Apparently worried about the dwindling fortunes of Port Harcourt Port in Rivers State, one of the two terminal operators in the port has taken up the challenge of leading a campaign to woo importers and exporters to the once vibrant port.
Port and Terminal Operators Limited (PTOL) is leading other stakeholders including Customs, Association of Nigerian Licensed Customs Agents, Service providers in the crusade which has so far taking the concessionaire to cities like Aba, Nnewi and Onitsha which used to be the catchment areas for Port Harcourt port in its hey days.
Our correspondent in Port Harcourt confirmed last week that wide consultations have also begun with shipping lines and shipping agents on the need to start patronising the port once again.
And to demonstrate its seriousness to meet the needs of the importers when they start coming, PTOL said it has already concluded massive rehabilitation of port infrastructures in readiness to receive container laden vessels.
The company also said that it had ordered bread new cargo handling equipment in addition to the older ones which it inherited from the Nigerian Ports Authourity (NPA) at the commencement of concessioning.
The older equipment which the company inherited have reportedly been repaired by PTOL in readiness for the transformation. The terminals are also said to be undergoing massive rehabilitation
According to the managing director of PTOL, Mrs. Lizzy Ovbude, :”by the end of March, 2009 we expect to receive about eight units of brand new container handlers at this port. We already have some on ground which we inherited from NPA. This we have refurbished so equipment will not be any problem at all”.
She said the terminal has also achieved a draught of 8.5 meters, even as she assured that the company is working on attaining the required 10.5meters draught when it commences dredging of its channels and berths.