FG Commences Dredging of Warri Seaport
By Adedapo Adesanya
The federal government has begun dredging the Warri seaport as part of efforts to expand the Escravos channel to enable bigger vessels to visit the port.
The Managing Director of the Nigerian Ports Authority (NPA), Mr Mohammed Bello-Koko, confirmed this development during his latest visit to the Olu of Warri Kingdom.
He said the project when completed would enable the Warri port to have a better draft, receive bigger vessels and record lesser incidents of vessels running aground.
Mr Bello-Koko disclosed that the NPA has also started the mapping and charting of the Escravos channel, starting from the fairway buoy down to Koko Port, which has not been done for over a decade.
“We have a special interest in ensuring that Warri and other ports are more active. This is why we have been holding stakeholders’ meetings and we are going to Port Harcourt for another one.
“This enables us to engage with the importers and exporters for them to know that these ports are available for use. We will deploy more marine equipment and ensure that the signals are also working to ensure the safe navigation of vessels.
“This will bring joy to the people especially those that are into the business of importation, who have been yearning for the decongestion of the Lagos port and the bringing of business to the Warri port,” he said.
Responding, the Olu of Warri Kingdom, Ogiame Atuwatse III, noted that seaports generally drive the economy of the cities where they are located, explaining that the people of Niger Delta want the ports in the region to work.
The monarch said the eastern ports need to be opened up after several pushes by different governments in the past while expressing optimism that the recent efforts will yield positive results for the benefit of the importing community.
He also pledged to always support the NPA in achieving the goal of opening up Warri Port and other ports in the region for business.