Delta State Governor, Senator Ifeanyi Okowa, Thursday, August 13, 2015, in Abuja paid President Muhammadu Buhari what he described as a ‘Thank You visit’ at the State House, using the opportunity to request that the Escravos basin be dredged to allow bigger vessels to berth at the Warri Port.
Speaking with journalists after the meeting, Okowa said with the resumption of activities at the Warri Refinery, there would be need to expand the port facilities to serve as the hub for the South-south, South-east and North-central regions.
He also stressed the need for President Buhari to continue the Gas City project in Ogidigben in Delta state as well as the need to intensify efforts on the construction of the Second Niger Bridge.
According to Okowa, “We came to thank Mr. President for the appointment of the GMD of NNPC, Mr. Ibe Kachikwu, who you know is from Delta State. Even if you know he got that appointment by merit, he is still a Deltan and we thought we should appreciate that.
“Then beyond that, we are all aware of the Gas City Project in Ogidigben, in the Excravos and we thought that we needed to bring it to the knowledge of Mr. President that that project, which is a public private partnership (PPP) project, is something that would create a lot of jobs for Nigerians and thought that there was the need for that project to be given some strength. And we believe it is in the interest of Nigeria and Delta state that that project is carried out.
“Beyond that too, you are also aware that the Warri Port has come alive and even with the refinery that has started, the port activity has improved, but there is a problem because of the Excravos basin. We believe that the dredging of the Excravos bar would help to improve the port activities and improve the size of the cargo that come to the Warri port and Warri port is very personal to the rest of the South-South, the South East and the North Central and we think that it will turn to an economic hub, if we are able to dredge the Excravos bar.
“We also reminded Mr. President about the second Niger Bridge which is also another PPP arrangement and the need for the federal government to ensure that, that PPP arrangement is strengthened. Though work is currently ongoing but we needed to ensure that it is brought to the knowledge of Mr. President. He has told us that he is receiving information about that and we hope that activities in the field of the second Niger Bridge is heightened in the next few weeks.
“There is also an intersection of road between Benin through Asaba to Onitsha, by Igbuzu road. It is quite problematic for us. Sometimes you can experience traffic gridlock in that place; sometimes, you find out that the accident rate on that road is much and we thought too that the best way forward is to have an interchange at the point and being a federal government road, we do need to seek for Presidential approval even if it may have to be at our own cost and that was brought to the attention of Mr. President.”