The Delta State Government will engage relevant agencies of the federal government to evaluate the prospects and options for dredging the channels leading to the ports in Warri and Koko, two of the four ports located in the state.
Given the huge cost involved in capital dredging, Dr. Ifeanyi Arthur Okowa, governor of the state who revealed his administration’s desire to open the ports to more shipping and cargo traffic, indicated that the private sector could be involved in the exercise if the right ambience is created.
Governor Okowa who spoke at two separate town hall meetings in Warri and Koko on Thursday, said the cost of dredging the ports was huge, adding that his administration was exploring all opportunities to see what could be done for the ports to function optimally.
He said his administration was committed to delivery on his campaign promises, adding that he was grateful for the support enjoyed by his administration in the two Warri local government areas.
Due to the low draught of the channels to the ports, utilisation level of the ports have remained abysmally low even as Lagos ports which account for more than 80 percent of ship and cargo traffic are in near lockdown to the nightmarish state of their access roads.
According to Okowa, “the cost of dredging the ports is alarming, but we are exploring different opportunities for the ports to be functional. The town hall meetings provided me an opportunity to tell the people what my administration is doing and also get reactions from the people about the achievements of the administration and their expectations.”