The Onitsha Chamber of Commerce, Industry, Mines and Agriculture (ONICCIMA), yesterday, advised the new Managing Director, National Inland Waterways Authority (NIWA), Chief George Moghalu, to ensure that the inland waterways ports in every part of the country, especially the Eastern Ports, are functional so that its opportunities wouldl be fully harnessed.

The group commended President Muhammadu Buhari for the appointment.

The group said the waterways has the capacity to timely move estimated 620 million tons commodity freight annually within the country, and reduce the number of trucks and articulated vehicles from the nation’s already overcrowded highways.

Its Vice President, Okechukwu Anene, said Moghalu is an experienced and consummate politician with a rich and diverse background in the public and private sectors and fits the job given to him by the president.

“We see his appointment as part of the inclusiveness by President Buhari to move the nation forward, for which we thus commend him.

“Given the Federal Government’s drive to maximise the country’s natural endowments as one of its strategies to grow the nation’s economy, it is in the best interest of the nation for the NIWA to operate with a substantive Managing Director, following the appointment of Sen Adeleke Olorunnimbe Mamora, as a Minister. Not to have filled the vacuum would obviously impede key decision making and execution of vital projects.

“For instance, the nation’s endowment of a highly productive open sea with abundant and diverse maritime environment offers great opportunities to be harnessed,’’ he said.

“ONICCIMA therefore, urges the new NIWA MD to use his new position to vigorously drive the gazette process of Onitsha River Port as a port of final destination and port of origin.

“Achieving this will ensure that the South East gets access to the entire world through the Atlantic Ocean, to the benefit of industrialisation, trade, commerce and job creation in the zone, there could be no better time for this than now.

“On the proposed concession of the Onitsha river port, the group said that the interests of Anambra State and her people be adequately protected.

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