By Eseoghene Emuke

The member representing Sapele/Uvwie/Okpe Federal Constituency at the House of Representatives, Chief Efe Afe, has called on the Federal Government to revitalised the Sapele Seaport and other ports in the country to ease the gridlock at the Apapa ports in Lagos.

 Afe, won the 2019 general elections on the platform of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), said the Sapele port which was strategically located and built to complement other ports in the country particularly the eastern ports, had been abandoned by successive governments.

The federal lawmaker who spoke on Tuesday in Effurun, Uvwie Local Government Area of Delta State appealed to President Muhammadu Buhari to intervene in the Sapele port to decongest Apapa and Tin Can Island Ports.

He expressed worries that despite the huge amount of money expended on the building of Sapele Port in the 80s, the port which was one of the best in the country had been allowed to waste.

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Afe said with the current congestion being experienced in Apapa and Tin Can Island Ports, the Federal government must reactivate other ports in the country if it wants to decongest those two ports.

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“The Federal Government spent huge sum of money to build the Sapele Port. So it will not be wise for them to allow such facilities to rot away while at the same time they are losing huge sums of revenue from the congestion going on in Lagos Ports.

He attributed a motion to a former Representative of the constituency Hon Joyce Overah on the Sapele Port issue, saying it was not concluded before his tenure elapsed.

“We have been clamoring for the revival of Sapele Port for a very long time now. It all started when Hon Joyce Overa during the 6th Assembly of the House of Representatives. He moved a motion that the Sapele Port should be reactivated.

“The House then resolved that the Sapele Port should be reactivated. They even sent Representatives to visit the port where the Shippers Council was also represented. But till date nothing has been done to reactivate the Sapele Port,” Afe said.

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He noted that the reactivation of Sapele, Warri, Koko and other ports in the country will not only decongest Lagos ports but will also create employment for the people and generate revenue for the Federal government.

“Today, with the reality in ground and the congestion in Apapa and Tin Can Ports, we all know that the economy is suffering because it takes longer time for people to retrieve their good from the ports,” the House of Representatives member said.

Afe, therefore appealed to the Federal government to speed up the dredging of the Escravos Bar so as to allow bigger vessels to come into the ports.

He said, “The Federal Government needs to speed up dredging of  the Warri river and other rivers so that vessels can be coming to Warri, Sapele, Koko and Burutu Ports. This will alleviate the suffering of businessmen in the South South and South East region of the state. This will also lead to the creation of employment for our people and revenue generation to the Federal and state governments.”

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He warned that if nothing was done to reactivate other ports in the country, other neighbouring countries will take advantage of what is happening in Lagos ports and divert the revenue that is supposed to come to the country to there own countries.

“I have already drafted a motion concerning this matter which is already with the Clerk of the House. That motion is calling on the Federal Government to reactivate the Sapele Port alongside the Warri and Koko ports, and if possible, the Burutu port,” Afe said.

Afe also assured his constituent that all Delta State members in the House will do their best to ensure that their people are well represented in the House.

“We, the members of the House of Representatives from Delta State are going to do our best in the house. We have been doing it before and we are going to do it again. So, I want to assure my constituent that the dividends of democracy will extend to them. Let them exercise patient for now and I believe we are going to do our best.

“I also want to urge all Deltans to support the present government of Governor Ifeanyi Okowa and the Federal Government under the administration of President Muhammadu Buhari in the implementation of capital projects and policies”, Afe said.


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