As part of efforts to gainfully exploit its maritime sector, Abia state government has inaugurated a Committee for Maritime and Seaport matters.
Speaking during the inauguration exercise, the Commissioner for Transportation, Chief Godswill Uche Nwanoruo, emphasised the need to increase the state’s sources of internal revenue generation to meet the yearnings of Abia citizens.
Nwanuro charged the committee to work in tandem with the newly created Maritime Division in the Ministry to harness and maximize the advantages presented by the waterways.
The committee was mandated to pay advocacy visits to Stakeholders of host communities of sea and dry ports, collate statistical data of the ports, help to get enabling laws to back up their activities, as well as check mate illegal activities currently going on at those Ports.
He, however, assured the Committee of the state government’s assistance to make their assignment easy, even as he enjoined them to take the assignment seriously and write their names in gold in the history of Abia state.
Members of the inaugurated Committee are; Capt. Kingsley Akparanta, Chief Azubuine Oliver, Hon. Ejike Okere, Elder Samuel Nwosu, Okere Chika, Chief Friday Ogbonna, Mrs. Ego Ijeaku, Onyekachi Ogbuka, G.O.C Nnaji, Mrs. Ezinne Azunna, Mr. Emmanuel Ikwegbu, Barr. Tony Mgbarine, and Nwaogu Akudo.
According to the Transport Commissioner, some of the projects to harness are; river ports at Aba, Owerrenta, Ntugbu, Obuaku, Akwette, Azumini and also Ntigha dry port.
The Committee’s terms of reference, include; to determine the viability of establishing river ports/jetties within the state; work out the functions of the newly created Maritime Unit under the Transport Services Department of the Ministry of Transport; source for laws and regulations that will make for seamless operation of maritime activities in the State.
Others are; to assist the Ministry in Streamlining the revenue collection of the maritime activities in the State; to assist in providing the indices for effective planning for the Maritime Unit; and to carry out any other assignment that may be directed by the Hon. Commissioner or his assigns.
Chief Nwanoruo equally used the forum to announce the sponsorship of five members of staff of the Ministry to study Maritime at the Abia State Polytechnic in a bid to improve their skills.
Lending her voice, the Permanent Secretary of the Ministry, Mrs. Clara Ijeoma Okere commended members of the Committee for accepting to carry out the onerous assignment that will be beneficial to Abians, and prayed that God would see them through.
Responding on behalf of the Committee, its Chairman, Capt. Kingsley Akparanta, expressed delight over the decision of the government to institute the Committee to carry out such all-important assignment.
Capt. Akparanta disclosed that coastal operations have been going on in the state unnoticed, but promised a positive turn around that would upgrade the status of the ports for economic benefits to the State.
Giving the vote of thanks, a member of the Committee, Dr. Oliver Azubuine, commended Commissioner Nwanoruo and his management team for their unwavering efforts to ensure the commencement and realization of the seaports in Abia State.
The occasion was attended by the management staff of the Ministry as well as Chief Issac Ogbonna, JP, an Elder Statesman and a PDP Stalwart.