Government policies killing Port Harcourt ports, Wike, others lament

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Stakeholders operating at the Port Harcourt Port, Rivers state have identified government policies as one of the reasons why ports at the region are not viable.

Speaking at the 4th Quarter Council Meeting of the Nigerian Association of Chambers of Commerce, Industry, Mines and Agriculture (NACCIMA) hosted by the Port Harcourt Chamber of Commerce at Hotel Presidential, Port Harcourt, tagged ‘inventing Port Harcourt as a Port City’, the stakeholders took turn to complain about astronomical charges.

On her part, the executive Governor of Rivers state, Barr Nyesom Wike expressed shock why ports in the area are unfairly singled out for astronomical charges.

Gov. Wike who was represented by his deputy, Mrs Ipalibo Harry Banigo  said the high port charges have been instrumental to scaring potential importers and exporters away from the state, while other ports outside the region are fairly benchmarked in rates.

He said, “We are happy that the likes of Port Harcourt Chamber of Commerce and NACCIMA are seriously engaged in advocacy to ensure that a change is effected; I want to assure you that the Rivers state government is committed to partnering with you to achieve this objective, we also promised to exploit the potentials of the ports in reviving the state economy’ she said.

 Also speaking, the President of Port Harcourt Chamber of Commerce, Dr Emi Membere Otaji underscored the economic importance of resuscitating the sea ports in Rivers state.

According to him, we must make Port Harcourt ports work so that everything will not gravitate to Lagos. PHCCIMA has been interfacing with key stakeholders and we will strive further to ensure our first love shipping is reinvented as envisioned by our finding fathers.

Also speaking, the NACCIMA President, Chief Bassey E.O Edem expressed gratitude to the Rivers state government for delivering its promise to provide a permanent trade fair site for the city chamber, he also lauded them for creating an enabling environment for the organize private sector to thrive.

He said reviving Port Harcourt ports has become necessary as it will help stimulate the state economy and create strings of multiple employment opportunities, he also promised to help in the advocacy. Speaking on the essence of the meeting he said it was an avenue to review the economic situation of the country with a view to proffer lasting solutions that will position the country in good direction and thanked PHCCIMA for being a wonderful host.