*to activate Onitsha seaport
From Chuks Collins, Awka
Ahead the much expected one-day working visit of President Goodluck Jonathan to Anambra state this Thursday,Aug 30, 2012, a prominent industrialist and managing director of Krisoral and Company Ltd, Chief Oranu Chidume has appealed to the President give impetus and bite to his administration’s industrialisation and transformation agenda by commencement of the construction of the proposed second Niger Bridge and the operations of Onitsha River port.
Chief Chidume said the importance of the Second Niger Bridge to the socio-economic development and transformation of the industrial sector of the country cannot be quantified, adding that the bridge will serve the entire nation, especially the South East, South South and some part of North Central.
He lamented that constant traffic jam on the bridge make commuters and motorists to stay on and stress the bridge for several hours, atimes over night.
The industrialist disclosed that the President will commission his new company, Role-over Proof Cap Industry built almost at the cost of about one billion naira at Atani Industrial Layout, Ogbaru, a suburb of Onitsha. He strongly believed that the President’s visit will be a morale booster to industrialists in and industrialization in Anambra State and the geo-political zone.
He therefore urged President Jonathan to use his visit to the state to commence work on the new bridge to re-assure the people of the area of his administration’s commitment in the project. The media were recently awash with stories on the award of contract for the new bridge,but nothing wason ground to convince citizens of its take-off.
The Onitsha River port, according to the industrialist would be of no economic benefit, if after Commissioning the port, it is not put into operational use, saying that effective use of the port will reduce the pressure on the roads, because there will be no need for trailers to go to Lagos or Port Harcourt wharfs to bring down goods from ship to Onitsha.
He said, “If the dry port is functional, the pressure on our highways will be reduced as pressure will transferred to the high sea. It will make a whole lot of business very easy” he said.
He said that the development of infrastructure like roads and easy access to loan with low interest through the collaboration of Bank of Industry and Governor Peter Obi, many industries which were not in operation are coming back.
The entrepreneur whose company employs about 800 hundred workers however, challenged President Jonathan to fasten the power reform programme because power is at the heart of industrialization of any nation.
He commended President Jonathan for his efforts to provide Nigerians uninterrupted power supply, saying that he has to monitor his team to ensure he delivers on his promise. That their major problem as industrialists is lack of skilled manpower in the country, which has forced them to hire expatriates to man strategic departments of their companies.
“People carry empty certificates but by the time you subject them to test, you find out, they lack requisite skill, they lack work culture, work ethics. Our orientation is nothing yet to write name about, he said.
He said that if they have stilled Nigerians who have right attitude to work, they will be happy to employ them and pay them the equivalent of expatriates, saying that he however has a programme where Nigerians understudy the expatriates.