The Olu of Warri, Ogiame Ikewoli, on Thursday appealed to stakeholders in Delta Ports to support the management of the Nigerian Ports Authority (NPA) to achieve its regional transformational mandate.
Ikewoli said this when the Executive Director, Marine and Operations, Dr Sokonte Davies, and other management staff of NPA, paid him a courtesy visit in his palace in Warri.
According to him, all stakeholders should support the Managing Director of NPA, Ms Hadiza Usman, so that the transformation she had brought to the region would be fruitful and sustained.
He said that the Nigerian Ports Authority would continue to remain a part of his family and that he would always be happy to associate with it.
Ikewoli said that Usman, being the first female Managing Director of NPA, had transformed the fortunes of the ports in his domain, namely: Warri, Koko and Sapele which had been dormant over the years.
“People are excited and happy about the dredging of the Escravos Channel which will boost the economy of Delta,’’ Ikewoli said.
Also, the Manager of Delta Ports, Mr Simon Okeke, said that Warri Port had never been at its best until now and commended the present executive management for providing the infrastructure that was making the port to function optimally, according to the News Agency of Nigeria, NAN.
“Since the last stakeholders’ meeting, several positive developments had been achieved by this management.
“The entire port is fully illuminated. The executive management is equally giving befitting attention to our channels’,’’ Okeke said.
Davies said that the present management had initiated the idea of the forum as a way of identifying with the challenges of the industry.
He said that forum was also to monitor the pace of progress in ports operations while he said that the channels were facing challenges of drought.
He said that the NPA management was encouraging stakeholders to embrace the use of flat bottom vessels at Warri Port which had been experimented in Calabar Port.
“Now that the management is ready, we beg for your cooperation. We cannot stop this government from doing what we cannot do.
“We are here as a family, we are urging each other that we should use both hands to wash each other,” he said.
Mr Simon Asite, the president of the Warri Chamber of Commerce, Industry, Mines and Agriculture (WACCIMA), and one of the stakeholders, lauded the efforts of the present management toward moving the maritime sector forward in the Delta region.
Also, the Chairman, Ogbe\Ijaw Local Government Council, Mr Friday Dengham, assured the management that his council would ensure adequate security so that the ongoing projects in Delta Ports would not be interrupted.