The premier web site of Edo speaking people.
Nation of people who are mostly located in the Midwestern part of Nigeria, Western Africa.
IMPORTANCE OF PORT DEVELOPMENT FOR EDO STATE
Greg U. Ogbeifun
The traditional manufactured imports and agricultural exports have since been surpassed by oil (both in the Crude and product form) constituting the greatest item of seaborne trade. Storage and distribution of both the exported and imported goods have led to the establishment of depots, dry ports and the demand for extensive road networks across the country.
States that are traditional producers of agriculture and/or have large oil deposits have capitalized on these to develop their port facilities by putting desired pressure on the Federal Government through various means, both orthodox and unorthodox. In recent times, Ondo and Ogun States have reached advanced staes in their plan to establish a port in their coastline
The economic advantages of having a port are numerous: - job creation, infrastructural development, economic growth, to name a few. In Nigeria, after NNPC, Nigerian Ports Authority remains the largest revenue earning parastatal. Edo State has the unique opportunity by reason of our strategic geographical location (the spaghetti junction of Nigeria) when she was part of Midwest/Bendel State. Her agricultural products found outlets through the Ports of Burutu, Koko, Sapele, and Warri. Most imports to the state, Middle Belt and Northern States were transported via Edo State to their destinations with the accruing economic advantages.
Since the creation of Edo State, the State has become land lock, thereby cutting out all the benefits she accrued when she was part owner of the ports aforementioned. Maybe our leaders at the time should have negotiated for one of the ports, maybe Koko to be left in Edo State. Today, Edo State is blessed with crude oil, maybe in moderate quantities, and Benin is the headquarters of Nigerian Petroleum Development Co. (NPDC) � the Nigerian equivalent of SPDC. Oil developed by NPDC needs to be exported. The absence of a port in Edo State means that the exportation and attendant revenue accruing from the port activities become the benefit of other States.
Presently, the Nigerian Government has decided and has actually commenced the process of concession of all the ports (a form of �Privatization�, except that in this case the ports and assets remain the property of the Federal Government whilst private operators now run the ports). This is a golden opportunity for Edo State to urgently revisit the issue of developing a port in conjunction with foreign investor. The leadership of the State must be in the Vanguard of this by setting up a technical committee who would come up with a blue print of how to actualize this. The State leadership has to appoint people of experience in the industry and must be given the necessary support and encouragement to produce the desired result. Such a committee should include someone from:
The Committee should be given the Terms of Reference which should include:
I will like to thank the Edo Okpamakhin for the initiation they are taking in this matter and for giving me the honor to participate in this convention.
Thank you and God Bless
Greg U. Ogbeifun
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