The Governor of Abia State, Dr Okezie Ikpeazu, has said that the State is strategically located for business and hence critical to the development of South-East, South-South and other regions of the country, thereby making the State economically viable especially with the State strategically located at the confluence of many economically important States.
Governor Ikpeazu said this when he received in audience a delegation of Nigerian Shippers Council, East Gates and BRJ & Associates, led by the Executive Secretary of Shippers Council, Mr Hassan Bello at the Governor’s Lodge Aba, to finalize the agreement for the establishment of an inland Container Dry port (ICD) at Ntigha in Isialangwa North LGA of the state.
According to a release by his Chief Press Secretary, Enyinnaya Appolos, Governor Ikpeazu said that Abia is ready to fast-tract export of locally made goods and services.
“Abia is at the confluence of states within the South-East and South-South regions of the country. Making it strategically located for business with strong economic viability. On our part, we will do everything to make the dream of actualizing a Dry port in the state a reality.” Governor Ikpeazu said.
Earlier, Executive Secretary of Nigerian Shippers Council, Mr Hassan Bello, assured that work will begin at the location of the Dry port located at Ntigha in Isialangwa North LGA of the state soon. He acknowledged the efforts of Governor Ikpeazu towards making sure the project becomes a reality.
Mr Bello who said that Abia inland Cargo Dry port project is one of the first that was approved by the Federal Government also explained that the Dry port will ultimately become an export Free Trade Zone (FTZ) which will enable the creation of over 3000 direct jobs.
He commended Governor Ikpeazu on his achievements with regards to the promotion campaign for made in Aba brands and assured that the Dry port will further drive the agenda for the greater good of the region and Nigeria.
He commended the Chairman of the implementation committee, Chief Dan Nwankwo, and also thanked Hon. Darlington Nwokocha (Isiala Ngwa Federal Constituency) for pushing the critically required bill at the House of Representatives.
The high point of the event was the signing of Construction, Procurement and Management agreement by the contractors, Eastgate Ltd and BRJ & Associates, which was witnessed by the State Governor.
When fully operational, the port is expected to boost business transactions in the South East and decongest Onne and Port Wharfs. The proposed project which is a 50,000 TEU (containers) port facility, will serve Aba, Onitsha, Enugu, Ebonyi, Imo, Delta and Benue states. The port would receive containerised cargo by rail or road from Port Harcourt.