The Executive Secretary of Nigeria Shippers Council, Mr. Emmanuel Jime, has said that work on the Makurdi River Port would soon commence as the port had been earmarked as one of new River ports that would be developed around the country.
Mr. Jime gave the indication in Makurdi at the weekend after the inauguration of the Council’s office. According to him, an assurance has been given by the Managing Director of the National Inland Waterways Authority (NIWA) that work would soon start on the Makurdi River Port.
Jime, who also attended one-day seminar with stakeholders with the theme ‘Appropriate Packaging and Quality Assurance of Argo-Allied Products as a Panacea for Increased Export’, said the new port will boost economic activity in Benue State which he said would lead to job creation for people in the state.
He urged the business community in Benue State to take advantage of the export promotion drive of the federal government to access the international market with non-oil exportable goods and produce.
Jime pointed out that as the Food Basket of the Nation, Benue had a lot to benefit from the non-oil export promotion drive of the government especially when such exportable agro-allied goods and products were packaged and preserved properly in line with international best practices.
He said, “that is why this seminar has been put together, because the need for appropriate packaging and quality assurance of such agro-allied products for export is key to a successful export trade.”
The Executive Secretary announced the decision of the Council to redevelop the Makurdi General Hospital, North Bank through its Corporate Social Responsibility intervention.
According to him, “the contract has already been awarded in the 2021 budget that we are running and it will be completed in two budget circles.”
The Benue State Governor, Samuel Ortom, who was represented by his Chief of Staff, Dr. Tivlumum Nyitse, commended the Council for its activities in the state.
Governor Ortom said the Council is helping Benue to expose the people to the benefits of export trade and the best practices therein, “especially now that the emphasis has shifted from oil to non-oil exports.”
The President of the Benue Shippers Association, Potter Orbem Yakubu, commended the Council for its decision to reopen its Area Office in Makurdi, saying the gesture of the Executive Secretary would bring export trade and shipping closer to the people of the state.
Highlight of the seminar was the presentation of three papers by Mr. Ben Anani of the Nigerian Export Promotion Council (NEPC) who spoke on ‘Packaging and Quality Assurance of Argo-Allied Product, Mr. Ben Nyakuma of the Nigerian Export Import Bank who spoke on ‘Access to Fund and Incentives Package’ and Mrs.
Okolue, the Zonal Director North Central of the Council who spoke on ‘The Role of Nigerian Shippers’ Council as Port Economic Regulator and Trade Facilitator’.