By Godfrey Bivbere
Olu: warri—The Olu of Warri, HRM Ogiame Ikenwoli has appealed to the Nigerian Maritime Administration and Safety Agency, NIMASA, to facilitate the revival and utilisation of the Warri and Koko Ports in Delta State to reduce the problem of militancy in the state.
The monarch made the call when the Director General of NIMASA, Dr. Dakuku Peterside led a delegation of the agency to pay homage to the traditional ruler at his palace in Warri while on a tour of the agency’s operations in the Central zone.
The Olu also stressed that if both ports are functional and active, it will revive the economic activities in the state.
The monarch, who noted that the Delta ports were once the drivers of the Warri economy, decried the abandonment of the ports, which he said can be very attractive, given the quantum of oil and gas activities in the area.
According to him, “There is no reason why vessels should go to Lagos and wait for weeks to discharge their cargo when the Warri and Koko Ports stay without any economic activity. I appeal to you to use your office and facilitate the proper engagement of these ports for the economic benefit of the region and the country at large.”
Describing Dr. Peterside as a focused, committed and visionary leader, the Olu expressed confidence in the ability of the NIMASA boss to bring about the needed change that will restore the two ports to their pride of place.
He observed that a lot of youths, who are into militancy would have been duly engaged and denounced vice if the ports were operating optimally.
In his address, Peterside said that the NIMASA delegation was at the Olu’s Palace to pay homage as one of the foremost monarchs in the country.
He also told the Olu and his council of chiefs that the agency was liaising with the appropriate authorities to facilitate the dredging of the channels in Warri ports to attract more business to the area.
“We are fighting piracy so that more vessels can call at Warri port. We are making a case for the dredging of the Warri channel so that more vessels can berth at the port. We are also working very hard to make Warri the Centre of NIMASA operations so that more activities will take place here” the DG said.