Governor Hope Uzodimma of Imo State with officials of his government and those of the Nigerian Navy on Saturday while on a tour of Orashi River from the Oguta Lake, declared that the river portends great economic benefit to the South East.
According to a release issued by his Chief Press Secretary and Media Adviser Oguwike Nwachuku, Governor Uzodimma told the media after the tour that when the place was finally opened up, it would not only serve as good corridor for the Navy to access other waterways, but would serve as a huge source of economic revitalisation in Imo State, South East and beyond.
The Deputy Governor, Prof Placid Njoku; Chief of Staff, Barr. Nnamdi Anyaehie and other top government officials were part of the tour alongside the Navy led by the Commander of Oguta Naval Base in Imo State, Navy Captain A. W. Umaru.
Governor Uzodimma said he was optimistic that those who live on the water banks of the Oguta Lake as well as others commuting from there to other parts of Imo and the neighbouring states would be better off when the place was fully activated.
The governor had met with officials of the Nigerian Navy on Friday in Government House, Owerri, in furtherance of discussion on approval given by President Muhammadu Buhari for the dredging of Orashi River from Oguta lake to link the Atlantic Ocean for the enhancement of economic activities on that corridor.
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 state to the Federal Government to pursue her Gas Industrialisation Policy on the Oguta Lake and Orashi River axis.
Governor Uzodimma said that the Government of Imo State “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: “We realised the project would help manage the security situation in the area, eliminate cases of crude oil stealing, pipeline vandalism and enhance security.”
He added that the realisation of the project would “stimulate economic activities, create more jobs for our people and then boost the economy of the state.”
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.”