The Delta Shippers Association (DelSA), on Saturday commended the Federal Government for the dredging of the Warri/Escravos channel.
Vice President of the association, Mr Simon Asite, sai din an interview in Warri that the proactive step showed that the government was determined to revive the moribund Delta ports for optimum performance.
The Escravos bar in Warri South-West Local Government Area of Delta through which vessels sail into the Delta ports, had been shallowed over the years, until the dragging.Asite said that the dredging was another way of diversifying the nation’s monolithic economy which was dependent on oil.
He said: “It will create job for the teeming unemployed youth in the society.“In addition to creating jobs, it will also help to increase the Internally Generated Revenue (IGR) for both the state and federal governments.
“We have been advocating for the dredging of the Warri/Escravos channel, which is the gateway to cargoes coming into Delta port,” he said.
According to the maritime operator, heavier vessels including ocean-going liners would sail into Delta ports when completely dredged.
He said that reviving the Delta ports would have positive impact on hospitality business, transportation and other Small and Medium Scale Enterprises (SMEs) and improve the nation’s Gross Domestic Product (GDP).
Asite appealed to the federal government to ensure that the Warri/Escravos channel remained deep for bigger vessels to navigate without hinderances.
He suggested a standby dredger at the Escravos bar to constantly sweep the estuary.
Contract for the dredging was approved in 2018 while work on the Escravos channel was competed in 2019.
A source at the Nigeria Ports Authority, Warri, confided that the second phase of the project would soon commence.