Rivers State Governor, Rt. Hon. Chibuike Rotimi Amaechi, has charged the leadership of the National Assembly to address challenges affecting the smooth running of the Onne Oil and Gas Free Zone to make it more responsive and generate more revenue for the country.
Governor Amaechi gave this charge yesterday, when the House of Representatives Committee on Commerce, led by its Chairman, Hon. Sylvester Ogbaka, visited him in Government House, Port Harcourt.
Represented by his deputy, Engr. Tele Ikuru, Governor Amaechi said it had become necessary to critically look at issues militating against increased commercial activities at the Onne Port, expressing optimism that the committee’s visit would bring about improvements in its operations.
“It is amazing that there are several ports in this country but only few are functioning well”, he said, regretting that the Onne Port with all its facilities is still under-utilised, condemning the high cost of doing business at the port while it is cheaper elsewhere, emphasizing that “there should be a way forward”.
He however, commended the Committee for the visit, urging them to see their oversight functions as a means to correct anomalies at the Port, expressing the hope that the Onne Oil and Gas Free Zone Authority would continue to ensure transparency and accountability in the discharge of its duties.
Earlier, Chairman of the committee, Hon. Ogbaka, stated that they were in the State as part of their oversight functions, disclosing that the committee’s visit is to ascertain to what extent the purpose establishing the Onne Oil and Gas Free Zone Authority has been achieved, adding that the committee would also ensure budgetary compliance by the authority and address challenges facing it.
Also speaking, the Managing Director, Onne Oil and Gas Free Zone Authority, Mr. Victor Alabo assured the House Committee of the smooth operation of the Free Zone under his watch, promising to engage other stakeholders to ensure the full utilization of the port.