The Federal Government has said it has commenced processes for the concessioning of Baro Port having fully concessioned Onitsha Port.
The Managing Director, National Inland Waterways Authority, Dr George Muoghalu, who spoke to our correspondent in exclusive interview, said the Onitsha River Port had been successfully handed over to the concessionaires, Universal Elysium Consortium.
It would be recalled that concessioning agreement between the Federal Government and Universal Elysium Consortium was signed in June 2022 with the then Minister of State for Transportation, Gbemisoloa Saraki and Managing Director, NIWA, George Moghalu, in attendance and the document was handed over to the company in June 2022.
Muoghalu was quoted at the event to have said, “We have gained a lot of experience but as to whether we have confidence in the process, we have. As to whether expectation is high, expectation is high and we are going to be guided and when you are doing this type of thing, you must do it properly in line with international best practice. The major emphasis is to be able to move consignments from Apapa and Tincan to Onitsha and other inland ports because as we are talking about this. We are also starting the process of concessioning the Baro, Lokoja River Port and Oguta Port which have been completed. But just like the roads, we have security challenges. We are going to be addressing the challenges as they come but we are not scared about it because it is not insurmountable.”
Giving update on the concession, he said, “Onitsha Port, has been concessioned, we have handed it over to winners, Universal Elysium Consortium with the port of Antwerp, so they have taken over the port. It took place on 30th of June. So for now, it has not got to the time I will go for inspection but they are putting a whole lot of things in order. For Baro Port, we are setting the machineries in motion for the concession, it will be concessioned too having concluded Onitsha own.”