Tackles APC On Kwale Industrial Park
By Ovie Okpare
The Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) in Delta State on Sunday gave reasons why Governor Ifeanyi Okowa-led administration opted for Kwale Industrial Park (KIP) rather than completing the Warri Industrial Park (WIP) which was started by his predecessor, Dr. Emmanuel Uduaghan.
It stated that the land where the Warri Industrial Park was sited was not properly acquired by the previous administration of Uduaghan thus the project had been facing litigation from the its original owners.
The Warri Industrial Park is located at Edjeba community opposite the Delta Broadcasting Service (DBS) housing the popular Delta Rainbow Television and the Radio Delta also in Edjeba area of Warri.
In a statement issued by the State Publicity Secretary of PDP, Dr. Ifeanyi Osuoza, on Sunday, the party, however, tackled the opposition All Progressives Congress (APC) over its comment on the proposed Kwale Industrial Park (KIP).
Delta APC had in a statement signed by its Publicity Secretary, Sylvester Imonina, described the KIP as a “white elephant project’ and accused the Okowa-led government of abandoning projects initiated by the past government.
Imonina, a lawyer, in the state challenged the PDP-led government to complete the Warri Industrial Park before embarking on another similar project in the state.
But Osuoza, Commissioner, Special Duties (Project Monitoring) under the administration of Uduaghan, disclosed that the Warri Industrial Park was being stalled by legal cases in different court over the land ownership.
The statement said, “Also, upon assumption of office, Governor Okowa set up a committee to know what was holding up the Warri Industrial Business Park, during which we found out that the land was not properly acquired by the previous administration. As a result, there are currently between 10 and 13 matters in court by the original land owners.
“It is important to inform Deltans that the Okowa administration has been in talks with the litigants and other land owners affected with the hope of amicably settling the matters out of court.
“As you would imagine, such a process is often long drawn; it involves lengthy negotiations because colossal sums of money are involved. Suffice it to say that Deltans would have been spared this needless impasse had the right thing been done in the first place.
“Once the legal issues are resolved, we assure Deltans, particularly those in Warri and environs, that the Okowa administration is committed to the full implementation of the Warri Industrial Business Park project.”
The party noted that Governor Okowa’s recent trip to China was to understudy industries that require a lot of gas and energy for either their feedstock or cheaper/assured source of power, which Kwale has in abundance.
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“Let it be known also that the Kwale Industrial Park (KIP) is a Public Private Partnership (PPP) project; the State government is holding only 25% of the Special Purpose Vehicle (Kwale Industrial Park Limited), and the rest will be held by private investors.
“It is similarly important to inform and educate the APC that the land will represent Delta State Government’s (DTSG’s) 25%. The only additional financial commitment of the State is some minimal expenditure to open up the land, gather critical data, while the major infrastructural facilities will be built by the investors. The project is to be driven by the private sector, this is deliberate to mitigate against failure.
“Again, it is perhaps necessary also to let the good people of Delta State who have shown unwavering trust in the capacity of His Excellency, Senator, Dr. Ifeanyi Okowa to lead them to the emergence of a Stronger Delta with the resounding second term endorsement given to him, to know that the reason for the trip to China was because the government is looking at industries that require a lot of gas and energy for either their feedstock or cheaper/assured source of power, which Kwale has in abundance.
“Currently because of the high cost of gas in China some of their methanol plants are either shut down/producing at lower capacity and looking for new markets. Same for ceramic factories that are suffering from low demands arising from sluggish global economic growth. His Excellency’s visit to China is to convey legitimacy to the numerous prior engagements between the consultants and potential investors, given that key Chinese investors are funded by their home Government.
“The investors have found KIP very attractive and Dr. Okowa’s visit has galvanised their interest. It is good news that a company with a 400 MT capacity methanol plant is already talking about coming to visit the site in the next two months that definitely does not depict a white elephant project.
“Of course, we make bold to state, and indeed, for the proper education of the APC that a project that has the potential of employing over 75,000 persons cannot be said to be a misdirection of resources”, the statement added.
The statement assured Deltans that the Okowa-led administration would continue to initiate projects that will open the state to investors while promoting the unity and peace across different ethnic nationalities in the state.