Chinazor Megbolu |
The Chairman of Integrated Oil and Gas Limited, Capt. Emmanuel Iheanacho has urged the Federal Government to pay serious attention to the development of the nation’s ports infrastructure as well as the port access roads and provide connectivity to the hinterlands.
He said this on Wednesday at the National Transportation Summit organised by the Chartered Institute of Transport Administration (CIoTA) Nigeria in Abuja.
Iheanacho further stressed the need to improve transport infrastructure to meet the four per cent annual increase in world trade volume.
The one time Minister of Interior noted that shipping sector has played a significant role in taking millions of people out of poverty around the world.
He, however, charged the Nigerian government to invest more in infrastructure in order to create wealth and allow the masses feel the impact of the tremendous opportunities in shipping despite the poor infrastructure.
“Remember that we have to maximize these ports for our need as well as to serve landlocked countries like Chad. Nigeria should look at the trade needs and develop ports to serve those needs. The demand factor we should focus on is the underlying trade.
“How do we compare the volume of trade in 1959, 1969 and consistently over the years? If the trade has doubled over this period, then there is need to have ports infrastructure improved proportionally, “he said.
He further urged CIoTA to see the annual four per cent growth in world trade as an opportunity to explore new ways to position the country’s transport industry to benefit from the trade.
Iheanacho advised that Nigeria should take human capacity development in the shipping sector seriously instead of focusing more on acquisition of vessels.
He added that ships could be mismanaged if the operators lack the required skills to manage them beneficially.
“What improvements have been made on the Lagos port access roads infrastructure linking hinterlands over the years? On Creek Road in Apapa, you would find numerous obsolete buildings that the government could buy, demolish and convert those places into marshalling areas for cargoes. What we advocate is dynamism. We have to consider these options, “Iheanacho said.
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