A maritime operator, Mr Simon Asite, on Thursday urged the Federal Government to prevail on the International Maritime Organisation (IMO) to remove the black spot label placed on Warri Port.
Asite, also the President, Delta Association of Chamber of Commerce Industry, Mines and Agriculture (DACCIMA), made the appeal in an interview with the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) in Warri, Delta.
He said that the Warri port was labeled a `black spot’, which means it was unsafe for business during the heat of the unrest in the oil-rich city many years ago.
The maritime operator said that removal of the label would help to convince the global maritime operators that peace had indeed returned to the city.
According to him, it will also have a multiplier effect on maritime activities when the Warri/Escravos Bar is eventually dredged.
“Dredging the Warri/Escravos bar is one thing, but there is also a need to correct the erroneous impression that Warri Port is not safe for business.
“The black spot label placed by the IMO has prevented Baco Liners (vessels that carry containers) from sailing into the port.
“It is my appeal to the Federal Government to prevail on the IMO to remove this label.
“When that is done, the entire global maritime industry will now see that Warri is peaceful and free for maritime activities,’’ Asite said.
The DACCIMA chief alleged that the rumours of insecurity in Warri were a negative ploy by some persons to malign the oil-rich city.
He alleged that some persons benefitted from both the Federal Government and oil companies operating in the city by the negative information.
“The Federal Government should ignore the negative rumours that Warri has security challenges.
“Some people are benefiting from the wrong information, they are reaping so much from the Federal Government and oil companies.
“For instance, the petroleum depots in Warri, Sapele, Oghara and Koko will not function if there are security challenges, yet they are functioning.
“Furthermore, it is the same route that the oil and gas cargoes take to discharge their products,’’ he said.
Asite commended the Federal Government for approving contract for dredging of the Warri/Escravos channels, saying that it would help to revive the moribund Delta Ports, and consequently boost employment.