Chinazor Megbolu |
The Committee on Privatisation and Commercialisation of the House of Representatives and Sifax Group have harped on the urgent need for Escravos to Warri Channel dredging.
The Committee Chairman, Hon. Kolade Victor Akinjo, during a working visit to the Warri Port with other members of the Committee a few days ago, said the dredging became necessary as a result of vessels coming into Warri port.
He explained it is a strategic position with a view to decongesting the heavy workloads the ports in Lagos are bearing presently.
Akinjo pointed out that the reason behind the visitation was to ensure that there is a synergy between the investors and the Management of the port.
Akinjo added that the visit is also to assure investors like Ocean and Cargo, owned by Sifax Group that they would not be cheated and to encourage them on efficient work output.
He, however, enjoined the management to carry the host communities along especially on employment opportunities and scholarship awards respectively.
Akinjo maintained the Committee will collaborate with the Red Chamber of the National Assembly and the Presidency towards ensuring the Nigeria Ports Authority (NPA), becomes viable again for economic gains.
Meanwhile, the Executive Director, Legal Services and Secretary to Sifax, Barrister Olutunji Olusinde said there is a moratorium of one year in the payment made to NPA Management meaning Ocean and Cargo will commence payments on the property early 2020 even though the operation is yet to kick off.
He noted that the aforementioned is the reason the channel, which was supposed to be 10 meters deep is yet to be dredged.
Olusinde emphasized that the breakwater constructed a couple of years ago has become a problem for vessels and liners.
He, therefore, called on the Federal Government to come to their aid with regards to the dredging of the channel in order for them to kick-start operations at the Warri port.
“The major areas the port would serve when operational are the Middle belt, Onitsha and Delta areas.
“If operations start, the company would have at least 300 direct staff minus auxiliary staff, “Olusinde said.
Other Committee members who accompanied Akinjo are; Hon. Ben Benjamin; Hon. Ikem Agbonta, Hon. Musa Umar and Hon. Olumide Ojarinde.
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