The concessionaires of Onitsha River Port, Universal Elysium Consortium Limited on Wednesday said it was capable of creating over 200 employment within the region within the next five years.
General Manager of Onitsha River Port, Wannes De Wit, who disclosed this in Onitsha in a press briefing assured the firm would be able to have over 150 employees selected from the region.
He however regretted they were confronted with issue of dredging the river channels to enable them move goods during the dry season.
He said, “Our biggest challenge right now is the depth of the river, we have a six months window, where it is high season or rainy season, we do not have a problem for now, the water is rising.
“Today I can even notice that they opened the dam in Cameroon, so which makes the water more even rising, so from now to the period of six months we don’t have any problem.
“It’s at beginning of dry season that we have problem, where we do not have enough depth in the river to reach Onitsha river port.
“We are doing everything within our power to convince the Federal Government to start dredging as soon as possible.”
The general manager however said development of the whole of River Niger depended on capital dredging of the river, stressing that until that happened, there would be no business in dry season.
“If we have a good accessibility during the 365 days in a year, it means there would be more goods to be exported, the economy value of this river is priceless,” he added.
He assured expectation of another barge of consignment from Lagos next week, stressing that the only way the River Port could survive and progress was partnership with both federal and state governments in dredging the river channels.