The oldest Sea Port in the Eastern Ports, the Port Harcourt Sea Port built by the British before independence may be sidelined in the near future by the Nigeria Ports Authority (NPA) for lack of viability.
This is authoritative.
News of the eventual closure of the old sea port is coming on the heels of a plan by the Federal Government to construct a deep sea port in Bonny.
The Sea Port which took its name from the city named after Harcourt has been in the Limbo for some time now.
The Nigerian Ports Authority (NPA) blames the inability to operate the Port Harcourt Quays on two factors.
According to information, a technical fault which may have been part of the design has been identified by the NPA as a primary reason.
Another reason why it is under utilized is the horrifying activities of ever rampaging sea pirates who are operating within Nigeria’s inland water ways.
Dr Seconte Davis, the Executive Director of Marine and Operations of the Nigerian Port Authority, disclosed these facts recently, when he spoke with our correspondent at the Port Harcourt International Airport, Omagwa.
According to Hon. Seconte, the Port Harcourt Sea Port may be sidelined because of some shortfalls, including the depth of the waterway and other inadequacies that are affecting shipping operations and the movement of goods into the port.
The Director of Operations observed that it has become difficult to further enhance the depth of the water to meet specifications required a modern sea port all over the world.
He explained that the Sea Port was virtually landlocked, stressing that any attempt to further dredge the waterway as to make it deeper, could jeopardize the entire Sea Port- facilities that is fast aging.
According to him, the future of modern sea ports was in their dept because of the large sea vessels now used all over the world.
The Port Harcourt Quays, he explained was far below the expected standard and could not be remedied by further dredging because it could collapse and pose a problem.
Hon. Seconte however, said there was hope still left for the Ports, if converted to a modern fishing terminal.
“Yes, the old Sea Port could still be relevant, if converted to a modern fish terminal. It could still attract much business activities that will generate revenue for the state and the nation”
According to him, the Eastern Sea Ports would still remain relevant in the scheme of things when the deep Sea Ports in Bonny and Calabar are completed and commissioned for operation.
“The two Sea Ports in Bonny and Calabar, will play major key roles for the Nigeria Ports Authority in future”
“Apart from these two ports, the one at Onne town in Rivers State could still be deepened, expanded” and and made to “remain relevant in revenue generation for the nation”.