Abuja (Sundiata Post) — Abia State governor, Okezie Ikpeazu, said that the strategic location of the State for business has made it critical to the development of the South-East, South-South and other regions of the country.
According to him, such strong points has made the State a confluence of many economic viabilities.
According to a statement by his Chief Press Secretary, Enyinnaya Appolos, Ikpeazu said this when he received in audience a delegation of the Nigerian Shippers Council (NSC), East Gates and BRJ & Associates, led by the Executive Secretary of NSC, Hassan Bello at the Governor’s Lodge Aba, to finalise the agreement for the establishment of an Inland Container Dry Port (ICDP) at Ntigha in Isialangwa North LGA of the State.
He said 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 actualising a Dry Port in the State a reality,” Ikpeazu said.
Earlier, the Executive Secretary of the NSC, 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 Ikpeazu towards making sure the project becomes a reality.
Bello, who said that Abia ICDP 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 3,000 direct jobs.
He commended 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 also commended the Chairman of the implementation committee, Dan Nwankwo, and thanked 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 the Construction, Procurement and Management Agreement by the contractors, East Gates 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, as well as decongest the Onne and Port wharfs.
The proposed project, which is a 50,000 TEU (containers) port facility, will serve Aba (Abia), Onitsha (Anambra), Enugu, Ebonyi, Imo, Delta and Benue states.
The Port would receive containerised cargoes by rail or road from Port Harcourt, Rivers State.