One of my grievances against the Jonathan’s government was his inability to drive to successful completion some of the great SE favouring schemes started by that good man , President Umaru Musa Yar Adua
In August 2007, Yar Adua started an N35bn project to dredge and open up the river Niger channels from Warri to Jebba.
I was so excited when this project was conceived and initiated. I was excited because, I was somehow involved in a $1bn project that was planned to have as part of its overarching schemes /component a bonded warehouse to be situated in Onitsha.
That bonded warehouse arrangement was conceived to clear at least 50,000 containers per annum.
The whole Onitsha bonded warehouse scheme was conceived based on this river Niger channel dredging and maintenance project.
The project initiators under an arrangement with the Anambra state government have believed that with the dredging of the Niger river channel. Containers coming to the South East can easily be sealed and moved using large tonner sea-going barges that will be cleared in Onitsha
Customs and other agencies shall be made to have offices at the bonded warehouse terminal and port to clear those containers.
This project was intended to ensure that the usual taxation, Levies, tariffs and other charges that accrue to Lagos state government comes to Anambra state.
Why the predominantly PDP Governors of the South East and South-South states did not prevail on Jonathan to complete and expand this project, especially, opening up the Portharcourt seaports is what I cannot explain.
Nasir El Rufai has started a revolution with his Kaduna Dry Port Project. It has the same scheme of arrangement as the Onitsha bonded warehouse scheme.
This Kaduna state dry port scheme will rely on the effectiveness of the emerging rail line renewal projects. It is a good initiative. Let’s decongest Lagos state.
I expect the emerging governors in the South-East and South-south of Nigeria to put their feet on the ground and drive the seaport projects and bonded warehouse projects in the SE and SS.
It is very irresponsible of any governor or elected national assembly members from the South to resort to any forms of political correctness. In fact, it is silly and cowardly.