The former Minister of Aviation, Senator Stella Oduah has said that the southeastern part of the country would requires a minimum of three container ports as the region has continued to witness growth in trading activities and industrialisation.
Speaking with journalists in Abuja recently, Oduah, a Senator representing Anambra North, said that the region which is known best for trading and industrialisation inland inland container ports would expose it to the international market, especially as the region is land locked.
“We already have an international airport; the second one will be to have a cargo export terminal which is why the inland cargo terminal is important.
“Unless we have that it means that for every cargo, every transaction, import or export will have to be through Port Harcourt or through Lagos.
“Without the inland ports it means that accident rate that had been reported all these years because of bad roads will continue to increase because a trader will either import or export his goods through Lagos or Port Harcourt.
“For me as a south easterner, I think it is right to have inland container port and government should not just build one but a minimum of three.”
Speaking further, the former Minister noted that the container ports must be accompanied by a regular seaport and a port’s authority structure for maximum benefit.
Odua noted that establishment of the ports were long overdue and that the Onitsha port should not be considered as a seaport but a river port.
“The intention of the people that conceptualised Onitsha River Port could not have been to serve the region as a port because it has shallow waters.
“The dredging would not have served the purpose because it is meant to accommodate all vessels,” Oduah added.