During the groundbreaking ceremony, the Managing Director of NIWA, Dr George Moghalu said, “The aim of the test-run is to break the jinx and encourage partnership with the Barge Operators Association.”
He also revealed that the port was capable of handling 1,000 containers at once, which would then be transported by road to their destinations, which are nearer than Apapa and Tin Can port in Lagos or the Onne port in Rivers.
Seven months after the celebrated arrival of cargoes by barges, no container has arrived at the Onitsha port, an investigation by Daily Trust on Sunday revealed.
A first-quarter target by the NIWA for full operation of the port was also missed.
Our correspondent gathered that the voyage from Onne to Onitsha was difficult due to navigational issues.
Pilot cargo barge ‘made up’ – Sources
Sources privy to the test-run process said the first container vessel to arrive in October last year was towed into Onitsha port and that it did not sail as the NIWA had announced.
Near the port, a worker in the Julius Berger Construction Company at the second Niger bridge told our correspondent that they were the ones that towed the ship immediately it left Onne to Onitsha.