MINISTER Transportation, Muazu Sambo has promised that the federal government will address issues of infrastructural decay affecting trade facilitation at Onne Seaport.

Sambo who stated this during a tour of the Eastern ports with Onne as the first port of call said the reason for the facility tour was to find out the challenges of the federal government action.

This is just as the Managing Director of the Nigerian Ports Authority (NPA), Mohammed Bello Koko, has expressed optimism that the approval for the development of a deep seaport in Bonny will be achieved before the end of the life of the present administration.

Bello Koko who disclosed that there is a proposal for the construction of the deep seaport said some preliminary processes have started for the establishment of the port.

He added that the initial location of the deep seaport had to be changed as a result of existing pipelines.

Bello Koko who accompanied Sambo on the tour said the new location has been identified with a natural draught of 17 meters.

He said the next thing was for the Minister to look at it and determine the next option.

He described the development of deep seaports in Eastern ports as very key to the country.

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He said, “we hope the Minister will get approval for Bonny Deep seaport. It means the country has deep seaports in different locations of the country. I am sure that in the life of the administration, the Minister will get the approval of the Bonny Deep seaport.”

Meanwhile, Sambo added that he visited Onne first to assess the true situation on the ground and know where to take action that can ease trade facilitation.

He said, “Part of the reasons why I am here is to see why the ports here are not being patronized. It is an issue that has been on the table for a long time. Whatever the challenges here, we are going to address them squarely. Part of the visit is to hold a meeting with stakeholders to find out from them directly what the burning issues are, then we can draw up short term medium-term goals.”

At Intel’s terminals, the Minister was informed of three berths, which have collapsed for a long now.

He ordered that the NPA should address the issue as the authority has already planned the rehabilitation of dilapidated infrastructures.

The Deputy Managing Director of Brawal, Mr. Charles Etobo complained that his company was suffering a shortage of berths, adding that this has made the terminal operator lose one of its clients to another terminal.

Speaking further, Bello Koko said a lot of issues affecting patronage of Eastern ports are being addressed.

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