The Federal Government has said it has commenced processes for the concession of Baro Port having fully the process on the Onitsha Port.

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The Managing Director, National Inland Waterways Authority, Dr George Muoghalu, who spoke in an exclusive interview, said the Onitsha River Port had been successfully handed over to the concessionaires, Universal Elysium Consortium.

The Managing Director of the National Inland Waterways Authority, Dr George Moghalu.
The Managing Director of the National Inland Waterways Authority, Dr George Moghalu.

It would be recalled that concession 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.

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As to whether the expectation is high, the 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 practices. 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 an 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 machinery in motion for the concession, it will be concessioned too having concluded Onitsha own.”