June 24, 2024

Maritime Today Online

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Maritime Editors tackle Imo Governor over claim on turning Orashi River to South East port

The League of Maritime Editors (LOME) has reacted to a statement  credited to Governor  Hope Uzodinma of Imo State  who said  the federal government has approved  the dredging of Orashi River to the Atlantic Sea  to serve as the first seaport in the South  East region.

Governor Uzodinma according to an online publication  disclosed  that the approval  followed the  visit of President Muhammadu Buhari  to  the state to commission  projects executed by  his administration.

The report added that  “when  completed, the seaport will complement the economic activities of the other six major seaports in the country which will enable traders from the zone to import and receive their goods directly while enjoying a comparative advantage as well as promote and encourage the business spirit of the people of South East”.

However, in a statement signed by the President, Chief Timothy Okorocha and the Public Relations Officer, Mr Francis Ugwoke,  the League  while noting that this will be a  good project  if it is true,    all the same,  raised   concerns  about  the planned project.

The League which is made up of Maritime Editors  wants the governor to  provide answer on when the  dredging project would  be carried out, whether it is to start  this year or next year.

The League also wants to know if the project is captured  in the 2023 budget  If indeed it is to be executed next year.

“We want to know when the project was approved and  the contractor  handling the project”, the statement said.

The  League   equally demanded that the governor  gives further clarification on the project  in terms of when  specifically President Buhari made the promise during his visit to the state.

The League queried, “Did the President make this promise in a close-door meeting with the governor or during his address at a public function?.  The question is based on the fact that no national newspaper or television station  which  all covered the President’s visit reported the news. Or was the promise made in a letter to the state governor?:”

The statement  challenged the governor to come out and state  the involvement of  the Ministry of Transportation and agencies in the project.

The League raised alarm that the so called project may simply be what the state governor sees as a marketing tool to woo the people of Imo State and the rest of the South East to vote for the ruling party in 2023.

The League suspects that the project may actually be a fraud or another racket, noting that  the  Orashi River was said to have been dredged in 2012, and wondered  what happened there afterwards?

The statement  said the governor should as quickly as possible address the concerns raised, while also urging the people of the South East to be wary of such questionable promises and claims by any  state governor as the 2023 election nears.



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