The Infrastructure Concession Regulatory Commission (ICRC) says the Federal Government has approved the 30-year concession of the Onitsha River Port which is expected to generate N50 billion.
A statement issued on Thursday in Abuja by the Head, Media and Publicity, Manji Yarling, said that the Federal Executive Council (FEC) gave the approval on Wednesday.
According to her, the port will serve as an alternative source of transporting goods to the South East from Lagos, Port Harcourt and other areas with adequate water connectivity.
The port is one of the four River Ports in the country with others situated in Lokoja, Kogi State; Baro in Niger State and Oguta in Imo State.
She also said that the concession was approved under a Rehabilitate-Operate and Transfer (ROT) arrangement.
She added that the approval followed a detailed process under the regulatory guidance of the ICRC which commenced in 2011 with support from the World Bank.
“The Onitsha River Port was officially opened over three decades ago but has been neglected and not being optimally utilised.
“This concession is part of the bigger Federal Government’s plan to concession the remaining river ports and enhance inland waterways transportation in the country.
“The 30-year concession is expected to generate over N50 billion to the Federal Government and create thousands of direct and indirect jobs.
“(It will) facilitate more efficient trade within the country through cheaper, easier and cleaner method of transporting goods and services.
“It is equipped to deal with general cargo such as containers, bulk cargo and other packaged freight.”
Giving details of the ports size, Yarling said that it had a land area of over 12 hectares, a 324 meters long wharf with a further provision for additional expansion of 234 meters.
She added that the port also has facilities such as storage workshops and parking areas to cater for operations.
ICRC was established to regulate Private Public Partnership (PPP) endeavours of the Federal Government aimed at addressing Nigeria’s physical infrastructure deficit.