Approved Dredging of Orashi River Excites Stakeholders in Imo

Amby Uneze in Owerri

The federal government’s approval for the dredging of Orashi River, which connects to the Atlantic Ocean, has started to attract the attention of the stakeholders in Imo State.

Since the approval was announced last week by Imo State Governor, Mr. Hope Uzodimma, the stakeholders that cut across party lines have expressed satisfaction that when such huge federal project is completed, massive economic and social growth would come to the state.

Uzodimma revealed this to residents of the state when the Chief of Naval Staff, Rear Amiral Awwal Zubairu Gambo, who was represented by Silyranda Lassa, visited the state.

He said that Buhari has already given his nod for the takeoff of the project, which is expected to cost about $2 billion.

The governor had said that the dredging of the Orashi River would open a new economic chapter in the state and South-east at large after its completion.

An Elder Statesman, Mr. Bob Njemanze, noted that the project would endear the state governor to the hearts of residents of the state and boost the economic and social activities of state.

Njemanze said: “There are good things the governor have done lately that has portrayed him as not sleeping, despite swimming against the tides.

“This will be the greatest achievement of this administration if he succeeds in getting the federal government to accept in dredging the river. God knows why he made us the heartland. Governor Uzodimma is doing same effort that Iwuanyanwu put in to build the Imo airport.”

Another Elder Statesman and Secretary of the Peoples’ Democratic Party (PDP) Elders’ Committee, Mr. Peter Mgbenwelu, also noted that “if we do not dredge the Orashi River, the South-east will remain in poverty. My prayer since I heard Uzodimma mentioned this is ‘please God let him achieve it, if he achieves it, our children would be happier, they would have more jobs, and they would be able to achieve other things.

“I am not supposed to sing praises to the opposition governor, but this singular attraction beats my heart for joy. Therefore, I commend him for that.

On his own part, the President of the Imo State Amalgamated Markets and Traders Association (ISAMATA), Mr. Emmanuel Ezeanochie, described it as a wonderful achievement because it would boost trade and commerce in the state.

Ezeanochie said that the project would make things easier for traders in South-east, pointing out that the era of goods landing in Lagos and traders spent much money to clear them would be in the past.

“It will boost the economy of Imo State if other states come into the state to transact business,” he said.

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