Sylvester Idowu in Warri
The Olu of Warri, Ogiame Ikenwoli, has again appealed to President Muhammadu Buhari to immediately commence work on the $16 billion Ogidigben gas project, seven years after its ground breaking by his predecessor, President Goodluck Jonathan.
The Itsekiri monarch made the appeal at the weekend during his fifth coronation anniversary held at the Olu of Warri Palace in Ajamoigha, Warri South Local Government Area in Delta State, noting that the project would have multiplier effect on the socio economic development of the state, Niger Delta region and Nigeria in general.
He noted that the project should engage Nigeria’s full priority considering its economic importance to the country.
On the Gas Revolution Industrial Park/EPZ Project in Ogidigben, the monarch declared: “Again, this is a project that is dear to us as a people. This is more so as it is of immense benefit to the country in terms of gas utilisation, instead of flaring and wasting such critical money-spinning asset.
“When the groundbreaking ceremony was done in January 2015, our hopes were very high for the country at large. Since then, not much has been done on the project.”
The Warri traditional ruler, therefore, appealed to President Buhari to direct the commencement of work on the project just as he is doing in other sectors geared towards developing the country.
The monarch also expressed displeasure over the incompleteness of the dredging of Escravos bar for Warri and Koko ports, and also appealed to the Minister of Transportation, Hon. Rotimi Amaechi, to complete the process of dredging what he described as important channels.
He, however, expressed appreciation to the federal government for the progress on work on the Koko-Ogheye road, which he said would reduce the hours of travelling to Lagos, but urged the Niger Delta Development Commission (NDDC) and the Minister of Niger Delta Affairs to “fund the project, complete it and open the Benin River corridor all the way to Lagos.”
The Olu promised to sustain the existing relationship with Itsekiri neighbours, mostly the Ijaws, Urhobos, Ilajes and several others.