President Goodluck Jonathan on Thursday in Onitsha, Anambra, said plans were underway to open up other River Ports and revitalise the railway system across the country.
Jonathan made this known while inaugurating the rehabilitated Onitsha River Port in Anambra.
He said the measure would help in the transportation of goods and services through water and reduce the overuse of land in conveying heavy goods across the nation.
“We noticed that transporting heavy goods on land help make our roads tear and get bad by the day.
“So when rail system and water transportation are revitalised, it will reduce the use of land in transporting heavy goods across the country,” he said.
Jonathan said he was happy with the security situation in the zone.
He commended the Chairman of Orange Drugs Groups, Chief Tony Ezenna, for building a gigantic soap manufacturing industry in the commercial city of Onitsha.
He dubbed Ezenna as a partner in progress, while describing SABMiller Breweries as a critical project with great impact on the economic life of the state.
In his address, Gov. Peter Obi, said the president’s visit was critical to his administration’s resolve to industrialise the state.
“We have been admitted into the league of oil producing states and we want to assure you that the economy of this state and entire country would receive great boost,” he said.
He also said that Onitsha remained the biggest and most important city in the country with very big market in the entire country.
He pointed out that the state was safe for investors and called on other investors to invest in the state, while assuring them of the State Government’s assistance.
The Minister of Transport, Sen. Idris Umar, said the port would help reduce the sufferings importers face in the cause of importing their goods.
He said the port would also boost the economic viability of Onitsha in particular and the entire country in general.
Umar said his ministry would soon embark on the construction of other river ports across the country and build more railway systems, which he said, would create job and enhance productivity.
The Senate Committee Chairman on Maritime, Sen. Zainab Kure, described the ceremony as an epoch making event.
He called for a synergy between the executive arm and the legislature to achieve the desired effect.
“History is being made today and we are happy to be part of it, but there are still much to be done in building synergy between executive and legislature.
“We must work together in 2013 Budget to ensure that many other ports are built,” she said.
The Group Executive Chairman, Orange Group, Ezenna said the company had fully automated saponification plants with 12 finishing lines to produce raw materials locally for the production of soap.
Ezenna thanked Mr President for finding time to be in the state to inaugurate several projects.
He said the projects would help reduce the high rate of youth unemployment in the state by providing job opportunities for them.