Barely one week after the Olu of Warri, HM Ogiame Ikenwoli, paid a courtesy visit to President Muhammadu Buhari and demanded for immediate dredging of both Warri and Koko port channels, the Nigerian Ports Authority (NPA), has commenced arrangements to facilitate the dredging of Calabar Port, in Cross River State.
Though efforts to confirm whether Warri Port is in the picture of dredging failed at press time on Monday, Business Hilights South South Bureau Chief in Port Harcourt gathered the Calabar Port remains one of the ports that had suffered so much in the past due to shallow waters, and controversies surrounding the dredging of the channel contract.
Before now, the activities of the handling contractor had become an issue of serious controversy involving one of the senators.
However, the Managing Director of NPA, Hadiza Bala Usman, assured that the exercise will be done with the utmost sincerity and less controversy to deepen ease of doing business at the Southern port complex of Calabar.
Explaining more during a recent stakeholders’ meeting in Calabar, she confirmed that the Authority has placed an advert for the contract, and will commence the survey of the channel this week in preparation for award of the dredging contract.
Represented by the Executive Director, Engineering and Technical Services, Idris Abubakar, she stressed that “NPA is carrying out the survey so as to identify the total area to be dredged, after which we can now consider which contractor will carry out the dredging. The contract has been advertised, we are now in the procurement process. We have been given allocation in the 2017 budget. We will commence the survey on Monday because we need to know the size of the area before giving it to the qualified contractor”.
Though President Buhari assured the monarch that government would work towards raising the relevance of both Warri and Koko port channels as part of drive to grow ease of doing business and diversification of the economy using the Blue Economy.