Ijaw and Itsekiri youths have hailed the federal government over the approval of contract to dredge the Escravos bar to Warri port, Delta state by the federal executive council so as to make the Warri port become functional.
The Ijaw and Itsekiri youths in a joint press statement by Eric Omare, President of the Ijaw Youth Council and Weyinmi Agbateyiniro, President of the Itsekiri National Youth Council, issued in Warri at the weekend described the approval of the contract to dredge the Escravos bar to Warri port as a laudable response by the federal government to demands by stakeholders in the Niger Delta region to make the eastern ports functional.
The youth leaders stated that the Minister of Transportation, Rotimi Amaechi, and the Managing Director of the Nigeria Port Authority, Hadiza Bala Usman, deserved commendations for their efforts towards ensuring the approval of the Escravos to Warri port dredging contract.
However, the Ijaw and Itsekiri youth leaders called on the federal government through the Ministry of Transportation to ensure that the contract is competently executed by the contractor.
They called on the federal government not to play politics with the Escravos bar to Warri port and also the Port Harcourt port dredging contracts.
The statement said: “These contracts are very critical to the revival of the almost moribund Warri and Port Harcourt economies.
“Therefore, it is our conviction that the successful completion of the dredging of the Warri port would return the port to its former robust state and provide employment opportunities and create other allied economic activities for thousands of youths in Warri and its environs.
“To this end, the Ijaw and Itsekiri youths leaders collectively agreed to set up a joint committee of Ijaw and Itsekiri youths to carry out sensitization campaign across the communities on the Escravos to Warri rivers that would be affected by the dredging contract on the need to give maximum cooperation to government and the contractor to ensure hitch free contract execution.
“It is in the collective interest of all communities affected and other stakeholders to give maximum support towards the dredging of the Escravos to Warri port in order to revive the moribund maritime economy of Warri and its environs.”