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Nation of people who are mostly located in the Midwestern part of Nigeria, Western  Africa.

 

 

IMPORTANCE OF PORT DEVELOPMENT FOR EDO STATE

 

By

 

Greg U. Ogbeifun

greg@starzs-group.com

 

 

 

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NIGERIA IS A MARITIME NATION and huge consuming Nation.

 

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Most imports and exports are by seaborne rade up to 80%

 

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This has necessitated the establishment of seaport in many places

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like Lagos, Warri, Koko, Sapele, Burutu, and Onne in River State.

 

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:

 

  1. Nigerian Ports Authority � where we have an Edo son as the Executive Director (Marine and Operations)

 

  1. NNPC � the Managing Director of NPDC is an Edo man

 

  1. Maritime Sector � we abound there

 

  1. Organized Private Sector

 

  1. Representatives from the relevant organs of the State Government

 

The Committee should be given the Terms of Reference which should include:

 

  1. Investigate the availability of a location where a port can be sighted taking into consideration access by land and by sea.

 

  1. Liaise with the relevant Government organs the statutory

  2. requirements for establishing such a port � a cue can be taken from Ogun/Ondo experience

 

  1. Identify an international port development agency to undertake a technical and commercial study of the project to ascertain its feasibility and viability. This would be a good place for Edo Okpamakhin to participate and invest.

 

  1. The outcome of �C� above enables the State to determine if it is a worthwhile project or not.

 

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

Tel: +234-84-237179

Fax: +234-84-237502

greg@starzs-group.com

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Last modified: December 20, 2008