The Olu of Warri, Ogiame Ikenwole, has called on the federal government to help mop up youth from the streets by activating and utilising the two main ports in the city.
The monarch said this during a visit to President Muhammadu Buhari on Friday. Speaking briefly with State House correspondents after the meeting, he said he was at the villa because “our ports are not working.”
He said Warri Port and Coco Port are “very good and solid” ports but are not working.
“While other ports in other areas are working, ours are just left unutilised and so we want the ports to be activated so that they can start working, and that will mop up a lot of youths from the streets,” he said.
According to him, when the two ports were working there was no restiveness in the area.
Apart from the ports situation, the monarcgh also asked Mr. Buhari to look at the Gas city which was initiated by the administration of former President Goodluck Jonathan, but abandoned.
He said the gas city “is a fantastic project”.
“The last president did the ground breaking before he left but since then nothing has been happening. We want the federal government to hasten action on it because that will mop up over 300,000 youth from the streets.
“So when all of our youths are engaged, the restiveness will be minimised,” he added.
Mr. Ogiame said he also requested Mr. Buhari to look at the possibility of constructing Coco road in the area.
He said the road, when constructed, will open up the area and allow economic activities to expand.
“We have the escravos road, the railway that is going on now, we want it to come to the area. By that, the economic activities will thrive better and Nigerians will be happy for it,” he said.
The traditional ruler said Mr. Buhari assured the delegation “he will do his best”.
“His hands are tied because everybody demands his attention, that he will follow to ensure things are done,” he said.
The immediate past governor of Delta State, Emmanuel Uduaghan, who was part of the delegation also spoke briefly and said he was encouraged with the president’s response on the challenges presented by the Olu of Warri.
“We presented the challenges of security, you know we are in an area in the Niger Delta where there has been a lot of insecurity challenges.
“We also have challenges of ecological problems, we also have the problem of infrastructure development, problem of access to ports which is very critical. Delta has six ports and to be able to get to the ports there is a place called escravos bar which has been very shallow.
“Even the water channel is highly stilted and so he was appealing to the federal government to dredge the escravos channels so that the bigger ships will be able to come into the ports of Delta, especially the Warri ports,” Mr. Uduaghan said.
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