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Seaports in Rivers State are now safe and busy, the Port Harcourt port manager, Abubakar Garuba Umar, has declared.
Umar, who assumed office in 2016, made the declaration when the Energy and Maritimes Reporters (EMR) corp paid him a visit in the Port Harcourt port complex. The port manager said complaints before then were that the ports were unsafe and full of danger and that nothing much was happening there.
On how the turnaround took place, Umar said upon resumption,his team embarked on sensitisation drive to importers in the region on the need to route their goods through the Port Harcourt port. “We created awareness on the viability of the Rivers port and we allayed their fears about insecurity and other matters.”
He said the stakeholders bought the idea. ”Now, the Port Harcourt port is busy and viable. Most of our berths are now occupied. Containers now come because two shipping lines now come to Port Harcourt and one more is about to join.
He revealed how the Nigeria Ports Authority (NPA) worked to decongest the port road (Barbour Road) which was rehabilitated by the Rivers State government in 2016. “Road congestion, which was a fact of the Harbour Road, is no more so. This is because we took proactive measures to keep that in check. We now insist that our road be free. We say, do not use port road for parking.”
Umar said insecurity was a big source of fear in the past, but that it is not anymore. “From 2017, Rivers ports operate on Step 1 security grade, not step 2 anymore.”
Responding to issues raised by the EMR leadership, Umar said the appeal for timely information to the media was a welcome one. He reminded journalists that there are listed bodies … Read More...