The Managing Director of Nigeria Inland Waterways Authority (NIWA), Dr. George Muoghalu, says arrangements are in place to reactivate the Oguta Lake Port, situated in Osemoto, Oguta local government area of Imo state.
Muoghalu disclosed this on Monday while on a familiarisation visit to the Oguta port.
He expressed regret that the project, which was awarded in 2009 by the late Umaru Yar’Adua administration, was abandoned years after.
He said that while he was not satisfied with the level of work done on the site, the contract procedure would be reviewed to determine what went wrong.
According to him, Oguta lake port was awarded at the same time with that of Baro in Niger state and Onitsha, stressing that while the other two were completed, that of Oguta was stalled.
Muoghalu, who was not happy with the vandalisation at the site, said that the first part of the project would be to secure the site by building a perimeter fencing around it.
The MD said that the project is vital to the transportation system in the country as it will help to reduce the load on the roads.
According to him, it will also assist in moving agricultural goods from one part of the country, through sister ports to the other, adding that the port will be dredged to accommodate large vessels.
Muoghalu solicited the cooperation of the community in protecting the project, since it will not only benefit them economically, but will also place the community on the world map of maritime industry.
The traditional ruler of Osemoto community, HRH Eze Franklin Cajetan Okafor, expressed regret that after the visit of two former managing director of the agency, no remarkable improvement has been recorded in the project.
He pleaded with the management of NIWA to make the reactivation of the port a top priority as it will boost the economic life of the people.
Eze Okafor also asked that the project be included in the 2020 budget to avoid the problem of funding.
While also reiterating the importance of perimeter fencing around the site, the traditional ruler pledged the cooperation of his people to protect the project.