With the 2019 general election approaching, the possibilities of dredging the Koko and Warri Ports is now a front burner issue as Delta State Governor, Senator Dr Ifeanyi Okowa held town hall meetings with the people of Warri North and Warri South local government areas.
At the town hall meetings which took place at Warri and Koko respectively, Governor Okowa disclosed that his administration was working with relevant authorities to see that Warri and Koko ports are dredged for them to function optimally.
The town hall meetings were in continuation of series of town hall meetings going on in different local government areas of the state.
A statement by Delta state Government Press Unit says, Governor Okowa stated that his was committed to ensuring a state where facilities are functional, observed that making the sea ports active will bring a lot of benefits to the people, the state and Nigeria as a nation.
“The cost of dredging the Ports is alarming, but, we are exploring different opportunities for the Ports to be functional,” the Governor said.
He commended the people for their support for his administration, disclosing that the town hall meetings provided forums for him to tell the people what his administration was doing and also, get reactions from the people about the achievements of his administration and their expectations.
The Governor who was accompanied by his Deputy, Barr. Kingsley Otuaro and top government officials assured the people that there will be consistent efforts for portable water to be distributed, and urged the people to embrace the compulsory health insurance scheme.
According to him, the health insurance scheme was designed for Deltans to have easy access to health facilities, assuring the people that the health centres in the areas would be made functional because of their importance to the people at the grassroots.
Governor Okowa also, disclosed that his administration was constructing markets despite the fact that it was the function of local government councils because, the Councils do not have the capacity to construct such, “we construct the markets and handover to the Councils to manage.”
He also, explained that due to high cost of scholarship for Deltans who wants to carry out their post-graduate studies outside the country, his administration has worked out a model for such students to be given scholarship to study in the country as it was more cost-effective to do so.
Former Governor of Delta State, Dr Emmanuel Uduaghan stated that it was important for the Ports to be made functional, noting that while Koko has free trade status, “the Koko Port is deep but, the channel is shallow.”
Chairman of Warri South local government area, Hon. Michael Tidi had during the town hall meeting in Warri, said, “the monumental Ode-Itsekiri Internal Roads network represents a watershed in the annals of the ancestral home of the Itsekiri people, a true marvel to behold, it stands as a prominent testament to the legendary resourcefulness with which you (Governor Okowa) approach governance; the Itsekiri people are very grateful for that unique insight of giving Ode-Itsekiri and environs vehicular civilization for the first time in our history, we appreciate His Excellency for your commitment to the Trans-Warri/Ode-Itsekiri Bridge that would link neighboring communities, amongst other growth catalysts.”
“It takes a man of courage and integrity to make promises, keep them and still come back to listen to more requests, we consider this Town Hall meeting to be a rare privilege, indeed and we most sincerely appreciate you, our Governor for providing such a veritable platform for our people and other critical stakeholders in the society to meet and interface with the number one citizen of the state,” Hon. Tidi added.
At each of the town hall meetings, people of all walks of life spoke freely, while most of them commended the Governor for his numerous achievements, others drew attention of the Governor to areas his administration need to act on.