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Hon Freeman Kashiari Emefiele
"YORUBA'S SEAPORT MONOPOLY & HAND IN TINAPA'S CLOSE DOWN; ITS IMPACT ON NATIONAL UNITY & THE SECESSION OF MARGINALIZED REGIONS"
Have you ever asked yourself why out of a country of over 150 million people, boasting of 36 states and a federal capital territory, why all the fully functional ports are located only along the axis of the South West?
Why have the Port Harcourt, Onne, Onitsha inland port, Warri, and Calabar ports never come into full operation and functionality?
This has been their mischievous game plan of the Yorubas since the end of the civil war in order to maintain Lagos ports as the singular functional port destination.
They also directed all oil companies to have their corporate headquarters in Lagos.
They know that the successful functionality of ports in other viable regions regions would be a game changer for the South-South and South Eastern regions. You'd watch how industry, trade and commerce would exponentially rise in theses regions and displace Lagos of its economic monopoly.
Yorubas think they can continue to work
against the economic progress of other regions by making sure only the Lagos ports work, they should be ready to continue contending for the ownership of Lagos with others and also suffer the effects of over population and the strain on Lagos infrastructures. You can't have you cake and eat.
Ports in South South and South East regions failed because the Yoruba's see it was a huge threat to Lagos monopoly of ports, the only resources the Yorubas have which they term as 'natural resources' are the ports situated in their region, their monopolising of ports in Nigeria is a big cause for concern.
I call it the root of all evil befalling Nigeria, many do not know the implication to the development of other regions in the South.
All the ports in other region other than Lagos axis have to be rendered redundant due to Yorubas greed in collaboration with the North to make sure no serious economic activity happens in SE/SS.The north is afraid of any major developmental stride in the South South and South East without them because as things stand with the GDP from these regions a sea port is bound to further enrich these states in the South South and South East.
Why is the FG siting all ports only in the South West region? Does it means other regions are landlocked?
As if Apapa wharf and Tin can Island ports are not enough, behold came the Badagry port as well. Allow me to affirm that Badagry port is primarily for the expansion of the economic potentials of Lagos state and Yorubas in particular, then maybe Nigeria in general. There is also the conspiracy of the French concessioned owners of Tin Can Container port who currently enjoy a monopoly in the business with the backing of the Yorubas. Opening up another port to the South East will surely reduce traffic to their port and hence boast economic blossom for the South Eastern business orientated industry whom would benefit immensely from a container port.
The Nigeria government can manage all our ports, collect all the taxes generate from various ports but because our system is highly tribalistic, Yorubas remain the ultimate beneficiaries as Nigeria's existence for another century isn't guaranteed.
The Tinapa project died a natural death for same reason, they placed all kinds of bureaucratic road blocks to frustrate Cross River's developmental opportunities embedded in the Tinapa project, they saw the international attention and recognition the Tinapa project was amassing and this scared the Yorubas to their bones.
Another example is the Ibaka Deep Seaport project within the deep waters of Akwa Ibom State which also died a natural death as a result of Yorubas placing some highly placed persons working in tandem with some officials of the Nigerian Ports Authority (NPA) to present that the Ibaka seaport project as not viable.
This conspiracy against Akwa Ibom State discredited the seaport project under a ‘non-viability cover’, despite the fact that the Federal Government had set up an implementation committee to facilitate preparatory works and captured the project in the 2014 budget, having been convinced that the port would boost the nation’s economy and that of the West African sub-
Just like Airports, categorization determines the capacity of the port. Enugu Airport was categorized in 2015 as an international airport which will saw that international carriers operate in and out of the port.
If the same FG refuses to categorize the sea ports in the South East coastline for importation but rather maintains them as mere oil tanker jetties and export ports then little can be achieved economically for the ports of Warri, Calabar, Onne, Port Harcourt and even the yet to be constructed Ibaka port which died a natural death.
Do you think all these repeated acts of marginalisation are mistakes? Those who think its mere coincidence or happenstance need to wake up from their slumber fast!
The Yoruba's come up with insolent lies and blame the non functionality of ports in South South and South East regions to be attributed to insecurity in the South South region. I then ask: How come this same 'insecurity' didn't stop petroleum activities in that same region the way it 'affected' port activities?
How come other businesses, especially individual businesses, still strive there in the Niger Delta and South East regions despite the 'insecurities'? Please enlighten us why this 'insecurity' hasn't affected businesses in this region as well?
We are wiser now and the propaganda that the Yorubas have long gotten away with regarding port monopoly has to end!
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