The Nigerian Ports Authority (NPA) has commissioned a dredging campaign to lift the status of operations at the Warri Port.
Revealing this during a visit by the NPA Management Team to the Olu of Warri, HRM Ogiame Atuwatse 111, last week, the Managing Director, Mohammed Bello Koko said that steps were being taken to revamp activities in the port and stimulate operations at Koko, Burutu, and Sapele ports after many years of low inactivity.
The dredging campaign includes channel dredging which he said was ongoing to expand the channel and enable bigger vessels to visit the port in Delta State., bathymetric survey, mapping and charting of the Escravos channel from the Fairway Buoy to Koko Port with the aim to promote safety of navigation and boost greater patronage of the Delta ports.
Bello-Koko announced a slew of rehabilitation measures including the introduction of incentives for shipping companies and consignees to attract vessel calls, the laying of buoys on the channel, approval of the IGP for the establishment of a Marine Police division in Delta ports, the deployment of security patrol boats to boost security, the introduction of third-party towage, and proposed engagements with the business community for the patronage of the Eastern ports.
According to him, “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 safe navigation of vessels.”
The NPA helmsman requested the support of Warri Kingdom to provide the peaceful environment for maritime business to thrive, particularly the need for the host communities to be investor-friendly.
In his response, HRM Ogiame Atuwatse 111 expressed satisfaction that the NPA new management chose Warri Port as the first port of call after his confirmation as the managing director, and hoped that after several pushes by different governments in the past, the renewed efforts will yield positive results.
He said that the Niger Delta people would want the port to work ports generally drive the economy of the cities where they are located and assured the NPA of the support of the royal family to achieve the goal of opening up the port.
The NPA Management Team also toured the facilities at the Warri Port and thereafter met with local industry stakeholders.