President Muhammadu Buhari has approved the drainage of Orashi River in Oguta, to link the Atlantic Ocean for the enhancement of economic activities on that corridor.
This was contained in a press release signed by the Chief Press Secretary to the Governor and Media Adviser to the Governor, Oguwike Nwachukwu.
It says the President had communicated his approval for the project through the Office of the Chief of Naval Staff, Rear Admiral Awwal Zubairu Gambo, based on Governor Uzodimma’s proposal that the Orashi River in Oguta is pregnant with lots of economic activities if drained and linked to the Atlantic Ocean.
At the meeting which held at the Government House Owerri, Rear Admiral Silyranda Lassa, represented the Chief of Naval Staff.
Addressing the media on the essence of his meeting with the Navy, Governor Uzodimma said it was in furtherance of the discussions and proposals by the Imo State Government to the Federal Government to pursue her Gas Industrialisation Policy on the Oguta Lake and Orashi River axis.
He said that the leadership of the Nigerian Navy were in the State to “visit the site, to assess the main obstacles hindering the programme as proposed by the State Government.”
Governor Uzodimma said that the Government of Imo State had “considered it expedient to propose to the Nigerian Navy for a partnership to open the access of Oguta Lake and Orashi River up to the Sea in River State to enable bigger vessels come into Imo State.”
The Governor said: “When realised the project will help manage the security situation in the area, eliminate cases of crude oil stealing, pipeline vandalism and enhance security.”
Additionally, he said the realisation of the project will “stimulate economic activities, create more jobs for our people and then boost the economy of the State.”
It notes that Governor Uzodimma said the Naval Officers who are in the State will visit the site tomorrow, Saturday, September 24, 2022, and thereafter, “Government will sign a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) leading to the project implementation proper.”
He says the Governor described the project as work in progress, assuring that “when the MOU is signed and the other processes concluded the authorities will come up with the work programme highlights which will be made available to the public.”
Speaking on the reason for their meeting/visit, Rear Admiral Silyranda Lassa, who represented Rear Admiral Gambo, said recently they “established a Naval Base at Oguta which has helped in addressing certain security challenges in the area.”
The Naval Chief also informed that they were in Imo “at the instant of the Chief of Naval Staff to look at where we will partner with the State Government to assist in some of these areas and help the State benefit from her enormous resources.”