By Godwin Oritse
THERE has been a lull in the call of vessels at the Warri port, Delta State, following the breakdown of the Escravos breakwater, Escravos Ship Pilots have said.
The pilots decried the breakdown of the breakwaters, noting that Nigerian Ports Authority, NPA, is currently losing revenue as a result of the development.
Speaking toVanguard, Captain Charles Tobi, immediate past Managing Director of Escravos Pilot Nigeria Limited, said no cargo vessel calls at the ports any more, adding that it was only tanker vessels that bring refined petroleum products from offshore to the port due to the shallow channel.
He disclosed that the only firm that is currently operating in Warri port is flourmill, noting that the port may become moribund if urgent steps were not taken to address the problem.
He said: “The Escravos pilots are calling on the Federal Government to rehabilitate Escravos breakwater that has been submerged for some time.
“The breakwater is the gateway to the Escravos channel and the channel is also the gateway to the Delta ports, we are facing a lot of challenges bringing vessels through this shallow channel.”
Reacting to the development, Managing Director of NPA, Ms Hadeza Bala Usman, told Vanguard that the authority was at a stage of getting the Federal Government’s approval to re-construct the broken down breakwater.
It will be recalled that Escravos Ship Pilots had petitioned the Presidency, NPA, and Nigerian Maritime Administration and Safety Agency, NIMASA, over the damaged breakwater in the Escravos channel leading to the Warri port.