NSC, Stakeholders task Delta Govt on Collaboration with Federal Agencies to Reactivate Moribund Koko Port
By ODEYA OGBETUO
The Nigerian Shippers’ Council (NSC) and other stakeholders have called on Delta State Government to collaborate with Federal agencies to establish a mechanism that would make the moribund Koko Port more operational thus decongesting consignment at the Apapa and Tincan Ports in Lagos.
This was one of the resolutions adopted by stakeholders at a one-day seminar organised in Effurun, Uvwie Local Government Area by the Nigerian Shippers’ Council, Delta Port Office.
The resolutions were jointly signed by Nambol Emmanuel Nanle, Rep. Executive Secretary, NSC, Glory Onojedo, Director South-South Zone, NSC, Mr. David Odega, Port Officer NSC, Warri, Dr. Julius Obilor, Rep. Delta Port Manager; the President, Delta Shippers Association, Dr. Austin Egbegbadia and the President, Warri Chamber of Commerce, Mr. Francis Eruotor, among others.
According to the resolutions, participants at the seminar themed ‘Export of Agricultural Produce Through Koko Port: Issues and Prospects" noted that the Koko Port located in Warri North Local Government Area of Delta State is strategically positioned as a veritable port for shipment of cargo to and out of Eastern Port for patronage by local and foreign investors.
Consequently, they canvassed for "more awareness campaigns that the Eastern port should be encouraged by relevant government agencies".
In this regard, they resolved that a domestic warehouse should be established, without further delay, through a public private partnership in collaboration with the State Government for Cargo consolidation for export through the Koko Port.
According to the participants, the infrastructural improvement and development of Koko Port at this point in the economic life of the country would attract prospective local and foreign investors, "while this would have the multiple effects of creating employment opportunities, boost foreign exchange earnings, balance of trade and by extension promote regional economic growth".
While reiterating the issues and prospects of exporting agricultural produce through Koko Port, the stakeholders stressed the need to make the Koko Port fully operational soonest to tackle the challenges.
The resolutions read partly, "The Port industry plays a pivotal role in the economic growth and development of major economies of the world, the Koko Port is not an exception. To achieve this, stakeholders should be enlightened through seminars and workshops of its potentials in view to maximizing the benefits.
"The inclusivity of financial institutions as indispensable partners in the promotion of export trade facilitation cannot be overemphasized as this opens a window of opportunities for exporters in the state.
"The Government should be active partners in the rehabilitation of federal roads leading to the sea ports for ease of accessibility and other maritime infrastructures in the state.
"Exporters should collaborate with the relevant Government Agencies on the certification and specification of exportable Agricultural products in conformity with acceptable standards.
"Exporters and prospective exporters should register with the Nigerian Shippers’ Council and other Government Agencies to take advantage of the incentives and benefits contained therein in the exportation of their products".