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Seaport Politics Of Nigeria: Warri Seaport In Delta As Case Study



Seaport Politics Of Nigeria: Warri Seaport In Delta As Case Study

We were told that the Warri Seaport needed to be dredged before it could begin to function. And like one of my kinsmen confidently said few weeks ago, “the depth of the Warri-Aladja River is not up to 3ft, so a ship cannot dock in either the Warri Sea Port or the Delta Steel Company (DSC) in Aladja”, measuring it with his leg, as we sat to drink, but I was quick to rebuke him.

That lie that a ship cannot dock at the Warri Seaport is a big fallacy that has eaten deep into the mind of that typical Wafarian. We have been lied to and deceived that not even a mini cargo ship can access the waters of Warri River with a 140ft long caravan container, not to talk of dropping its anchor ⚓️ deep down the waters of Warri River like what is obtainable in the Seaport in Lagos State. But in their quest to get what they (Warri Seaport adversaries) want, Warri waters with its Seaport is now the only place where pipes are being offloaded and taken to Northern Nigeria, to start the gas project that would facilitate unfettered gas delivery from the Utorogun Gas Flow Station in Otor-Ughievwen here in Delta State to faraway Niger Republic, instead of using their most beloved seaports in Lagos State. [Shameless hypocrisy and injustice].

Since the turn of this year, 24 trucks with three pipes tied on the back of each truck totalling 72, are moved out of the Warri Seaport to Ajaokuta, Okene in Kogi State on a daily basis [from Sunday to Monday]. And now with both camps in Kogi State already filled with those pipes, Abaji in Abuja is their next location, while some are already being taken to Sokoto and Kaduna States. Those figures are the ones being moved by trucks, those being moved by train to Ajaokuta are not included in my calculation.

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I am not smiling writing this long and short post, I am angry at the nonchalant attitude of my kinsmen and my great people of Delta state. I have been part of this project, I have followed them to those locations, I had to stop. It is quite painful and difficult to take. Because my home has become the dumping ground, and they take full advantage of the nonchalance of my people. It hurts, but my little question in all of these is this.

Since the Seaports in Lagos state are the only optimally functional ones in the entire country, why are those ships not taking those pipes to those Lagos seaports for onward transportation instead of the “shallow” Warri Seaport? Or are the Lagos State seaports only good for business like dropping containers of materials and other stuffs, while the Warri Seaport is only good as a dump site for some selfish people?

If ships with pipes of this magnitudes can mount their anchors and drop those pipes at the Warri Seaport, what prevents the Warri port from being a business hub as obtainable in Lagos State?

© Ovie Okukulabe 18th July, 2021


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