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Customs wants cargo facilities at Akanu Ibiam Airport

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IMAGE: Enugu International Airport - Exterior »



Nigeria Customs Service has urged the South-East governments to make concerted efforts to ensure the establishment of cargo facilities at Akanu Ibiam International Airport, Enugu.

The Comptroller of Customs in Enugu State, Mr Mohammed Abbas, made the call in Enugu on Wednesday at the ongoing South-East Economic Summit.

Abbas said the establishment of the facility would boost economic activities in the zone and create jobs for the youth.

“When the airport was opened in August, it witnessed heavy passenger traffic but as time passed, it started reducing due to the lack of cargo facilities.

“There is no cargo handling company on ground, like NAHCO and SAHCO, at the airport. By the time these cargoes start coming, it will reduce high cost of transportation as well as provide jobs.

“So, the South-East governors should make concerted efforts to ensure that the cargo companies are established at the airport,’’ he said.

The comptroller also stressed the need for the establishment of dry and seaports in the zone for increased trade and investment in the zone.

In his remarks, a resource person at the conference, Dr Okey Ikechukwu, said efficient and effective national transportation infrastructure would boost the economy of the zone.

According to him, it will guarantee viability of local economy and enable traders to get their goods to markets which will lead to economic development of the zone.

Ikechukwu said the lack of physical and human infrastructure hindered the growth of businesses in the South-East zone.

Ciroma, who was represented by a director in the authority, Chief Femi Ajusafe, said an adviser for the concession of the port would be appointed in November while the concession would take place in the first quarter of 2014.In a message to the summit, the Chief Executive Officer of the National Inland Waterway Authority, Mrs Maryam Ciroma, described the siltation as a major challenge to the concession of Onitsha River Port.

She said the concession would be done under the Public Private Partnership, adding that the Anambra Chamber of Commerce, Industry, Mines and Agriculture would be part of the project.

The National Coordinator of Traders Rights Initiative, Comrade Christopher Okpala called for the inclusion and consultation of traders in policy formulation of economic matters in the country.

Okpala expressed regret that traders, who formed the base of the country’s economy, were neglected by the three tiers of government in decision making.

The coordinator also urged the Federal Government to reactivate and create new industrial zones in the zone with a view to enhancing trade and investment in the area.

Some of the participants, who spoke at the summit, said that efforts should be made to improve security situation in the zone and orientation of the people.

They include Chief Bernard Ugwu from Imo, who urged the zone to use the services of town unions to enlighten the people on economic opportunities in the zone.

The summit which will end on Friday, has the theme, `Opening up South-East Nigeria for increased trade and Investment’. (NAN)

Article Credit: Business News Newspaper

Updated 5 Years ago

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