Inland Container Nigeria Limited (ICNL) has stated that it has the track records and competence to efficiently run the Onitsha River Port.
Managing Director of the company, Mr. Ismail Yusuf, who said this in Lagos added that as the reserve bidder for the concession of the facility, his company is awaiting the final decision by the Federal Government on the matter.
According to him, ICNL is capable of using alternative means to move cargoes from Lagos and Onne Ports pending when the Onitsha River Port will be dredged and ready to receive vessels.
He added that his company is awaiting final outcome of its bidding for the Onitsha River Port before deciding to either proceed with its planned investment in a terminal facility in Oba, Anambra State, or forgo one for the other.
He said “Actually, as a businessman, you must be very cautious of your investment. As far as we are ready to have our business in the East and we have bided for the Onitsha River Port. We are the reserve bidder, and we are waiting for the government to make their decision, as it is now long overdue.
“If the initial winner of the bid does not meet up with other requirements to enable it starts operation, then it should be given to the reserve bidder and we will come up with our own financial plan.
“We are hundred percent ready and capable to operate it for maximum benefits of the economy
“We are already on the ground and know how to do this business. We can operate from anywhere in Nigeria. It is either we move containers from Onne or Lagos ports to the same place, pending the time the River Port will be ready for operation.
“We can start doing that by moving their containers on bond and then when the port is well dredged, ships can come in; then transform to a bigger port where ships can come and discharge.
“We are one hundred percent capable. If we are actually bidding for Onitsha and we still have plans to be in Oba, it is very wise for us to come to the end of the bid we made in Onitsha, before we think about what to invest in Oba.
“We cannot do both at the same time because they are very close to each other. So if we do one, we will forgo the other. We are waiting to see the end of Onitsha River Port bidding” he said
On the electronic call-up system introduced by the Nigerian Ports Authority (NPA), Yusuf described it as commendable and should be encouraged.
He urged that government should increase its monitoring of the system to prevent abuses that could cause it to detail and revert the port access roads to its previous poor traffic situation.
Source: Journal onlineng