Prof. Yemi Osinbajo. Photo: Archive/Radio Nigeria
The Federal government says the survey and dredging of Oguta lake-Orashi river-Degema to the Atlantic Ocean which cut across Imo, Rivers and Bayelsa states will boost the economic fortunes of the coastal region and the nation at large.
At the inauguration of the hydrographic survey of the sea route in Oguta local government area of Imo state, the Vice President Professor Yemi Osinbajo said the project would complement the free oil and gas trade zone recently approved for the area by President Muhammadu Buhari.
He described the effort as a game changer for the government of Governor Hope Uzodimma and the people of Imo State, pledging the commitment of the federal government towards the realization of the project.
The Vice President called on communities within the coastal region to cooperate with the stakeholders to ensure seamless execution of the project.
The Imo state Governor, Chief Hope Uzodimma said the survey and dredging of the sea route would enhance maritime security and facilitate economic growth in the southeast.
He said the project would be executed under public private partnership to ensure timely completion and gave an assurance that his administration would continue to embark on projects that will help check unemployment especially among the youths.
Also, The Chief of Naval Staff Vice Admiral Awaal Gambo said if the dredging was successfully done, it would provide the Nigerian Navy the opportunity to deploy necessary equipment to curb oil theft and enhance economic activities in the areas.
Former Governor of the state Chief Ikedi Ohakim, Former Minister of Interior Captain Emmanuel Iheanacho, the OOni of Ife, Oba Adeyeye Ogunwusi and the new President General of Ohaneze Ndigbo Worldwide Chief Emmanuel Iwuanyanwu commended the Imo state government for its courage in embarking on the project which would have direct impact on Nigerians and appealed to the people to support the Governor to actualize the project.
Reporting by Chinazo Ilechukwu; Editing by Annabel Nwachukwu