The Onitsha Chamber of Commerce, Industries, Mines and Agriculture (ONICCIMA) has identified poor power supply and transporting consignments from distant seaports as the bane of industrial growth in Nigeria.
The ONICCIMA President, Uche Apakama, who spoke at the 8th Chamber’s Annual Lecture Series tagged “The Perspective”, said that the situation had led to high cost of doing business and reduced installed capacity utilisation.
He said the most critical challenges affecting the industrial sector in Onitsha and by extension the South East is poor power supply and transporting consignments from distant sea ports with attendant risks.
The ONICCIMA president also decried the bad state of roads, saying that it had been a disincentive for the business community in the commercial city.
He, therefore, called for the establishment of an Inland Container Terminal to serve the people of Anambra and other South East states. “The need for inland container terminal has become very imperative due to the operational challenges facing the smooth take-off of the Onitsha River Port, such as maritime security along the water ways,” he said.
He expressed regrets that the port inaugurated since 2012 had not commenced full operation. “Chamber will work with relevant authorities to take a determined step to persuade the Federal Government to give full commencement of maritime activities in the port complex. We are worried that the concession of the port, which commenced three years ago, has not been concluded,” he said.
Apakama, however, appealed to President Muhammadu Buhari to ensure that the second Niger Bridge is among the top priority projects of his administration.
By Pita Ochai