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Edo River Port  is dedicated to Agro Allied products, nears  completion – Ogbeifun

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Segun Oladipupo

Reprieve may be  in sight for agricultural products exporters as the Edo state government has commenced work on building of a River port in Benin that will be dedicated to only Agro Allied products and Roll on, Roll offThe Chairman of the building team, Engr. Greg Ogbeifun, dropped the hint on Wednesday at the 3rd Annual Lecture and Awards organised by Primetime Reporters in Lagos.

The third edition of the lecture is tagged: Assessing Nigeria’s Preparedness to Maximize the Gains of AfCFTA.

While speaking, the Chairman of Starz Investments Company Limited, stated that the construction was at advanced stage,saying it would lessen the tension and stress heaped on Lagos ports.

According to him, the Benin River Port is a departure from Warri, Sapele, Koko, Burutu, ports that are not viable, hence the concept of dedicating it to a particular cargo.

He maintained that the port would be run by Public, Private Partnership (PPP), saying the state would hold a lesser stake while private investors would hold a larger stake.

His words, “My Governor, a very wise governor, Godwin Obaseki, called me and said you have retired but you are not tired and he made me the Chairman to build the Benin City River Port where people call Gelegele port.

“I had to spend the first year dismantling government- placed obstacles in order to make the initiative work and thankfully today, you can see a semblance of a port.

“I can tell you something today, Warri port is there but not viable, Sapele, Koko, struggling, Burutu is  disappearing.

“We want to make research why the ports are not viable and we said the port we are going to build should not be in the order of those ports but to build an agro allied port.

“If you get to Apapa, the commodities are rotting away and by the time they get to where they are going, they become bad and we said if we can build a port that is about 49 nautical miles from the Atlantic, all the agricultural commodities coming from the North, Middle belt, up to Edo and the West, they will have a port that is agro allied.

“This will provide chances for people to have an alternative, so we now design a port mainly Agro port, general service port and RoRo.

“All the mistakes that were made when our ports in Lagos were designed, we are latching on them to correct them.

“So, the first thing I said was that the port must have a robust trailer park within the port area, a robust car holding bay because when vehicles are imported, they must have a park and a residential area.”

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