By Emma Amaize
WARRIâ€”THE Niger-Delta River Pilots Union has petitioned Delta State governor, Dr. Emmanuel Uduaghan, over its disagreement with the management of Nigeria Ports Authority (NPA), Warri, urging him to quickly intervene for the ongoing-multibillion naira Federal Governmentâ€™s Escravos-Gas-to-Liquid (EGTL) project not to be disrupted.
In the petition signed by the unionâ€™s chairman, Captain Charli Tobi, copies of which were made available to newsmen in Warri, the pilots accused the ports management of indulging in unscrupulous act, capable of endangering their source of livelihood.
â€œThe harbour master and his cohorts have formed the habit of chasing away our pilots from boarding vessels in the high seas with a crew boat (M/V Flying Cloud) with military personnel on board, belonging to the E.G.T.L.
â€œPrior to this recentdevelopment, the private pilots have been piloting vessels,Â including E.G.T.L cargo vessels,Â as resolved in a meeting held on November 15, 2004, at the instance of ex-Governor James Ibori who mandated the former Commissioner for Special Duties, Inter-Ethnic Relations and Conflict Resolution, Mr. Ovuzorie.
Macauly, now Commissioner for Power and Energy, to discuss the lingering issues between NPA and private pilotsâ€, the union stated.
They maintained that at the end of the meeting, it was resolved that private pilots be allowed to pilot vessels from Escravos fairway Buoy to and from Benneth Island; that private pilots should also take charge of piloting vessels from Escravos to Koko; while NPA harbour should pilot vessels from Benneth Island to Warri Refinery and Warri Port and also from Koko to Sapele Port.