Federal government has been urged to move in quickly and rescue the fast dilapidating infrastructure at the N1 trillion worth oil and gas port at Onne, near Port Harcourt in Rivers state.
Making the call in Port Harcourt, the executive director of Orlean Invest, Damir Miskovic, said the once fastest growing oil and gas hub in Africa is now wobbling under the huge weight of decaying social amenities and neglect from the authorities.
Onne Port is one of the three ports concessioned to Orlean Invest by the federal government. Others are Calabar Port, Warri and Lagos “For one, Onne Port in spite of its economic significance does not enjoy power supply from the National Grid. Its 20 megawatt power requirement is provided by generators at huge costs to the companies. Secondly, the access roads from Port Harcourt are virtually unmotorable in some areas,” Miskovic told newsmen in Port Harcourt.
He explained that today a journey of less than 50 kilometers takes more than two hours, thus compromising safety, wasting invaluable man-hours and limiting the urge of investors and customers alike to reach the professional sieves and economic opportunities at Onne. “An modern oil and gas port that serves the entire Gulf of Guinea with an investment well over N1 trillion, made by over 170 leading companies surely deserves better access roads, power and other critical infrastructure,” the Orlean boss stated As a port, Onne was conceived as a terminal for light vessels to take some of the traffic pressure off the Lagos port. With the stimulus of the concessioning agreement between the federal government and some visionary investors, including Orlean Invest, the parent company of Intels, the Onne Port blossomed into a huge economic powerhouse, providing service for oil and gas companies in the Gulf of Guinea. Damir Miskovic notes that Onne Port is home to over 170 registered
companies, and many auxiliary service providing organisations, creating such an enviable bond between oil companies and service providers that has culminated in the creation of accelerated discharge and dispatch for vessels, a one-stop shop servicing and maintenance.
He argued further that the port provides a convenient and cost effective platform for the operations of government port agencies and an exemplary business hub whose current investments are in excess of $6 billion. “Over the years, the Onne Port companies have created no less than 28, 000 jobs, with Orlean Invest alone currently providing over 4000,” he said