Orashi River Dredging/Oguta Naval Base – An Overview

Posted on September 24, 2022

 

PRINCE EZE UGOCHUKWU 
 

According to studies, the “Orashi river is one of the major rivers in the Niger Delta, being a sister tributary that formed the triangular Delta with Rivers Nun and Focardos. 

“The Niger Delta is a triangular delta linked to three basic tributaries namely: River-Forcados to the west, River-Nun central, and River Orashi which is eastward.

What started with the location of a Naval base in Oguta has now progressed to the approval for the dredging of the Orashi river into the Atlantic ocean.

Today, Saturday 24th September 2022, Nigerian Navy officials, together with Governor Hope Uzodinma of Imo State took a tour of the Oguta/Orashi river channels
in furtherance of the approval by the Federal Government to dredge the Orashi river to link the Atlantic ocean.

This week, President Buhari had communicated his approval for the project through the Office of the Chief of Naval Staff, Rear Admiral Awwal Zubairu Gambo, based on Governor Uzodimma’s proposal that the Orashi River in Oguta is pregnant with lots of economic activities if drained and linked to the Atlantic Ocean.

Governor Uzodimma said that the Government of Imo State had “considered it expedient to propose to Nigerian Navy for a partnership to open the access of Oguta Lake and Orashi River up to the Sea in Rivers State to enable bigger vessels come into Imo State…the realisation of the project will “stimulate economic activities, create more jobs for our people and then boost the economy of the State.”

THE GOOD NEWS IS THAT All over the world, the location of federal facilities has led to increased economic actvities within the civilian population.

Here in Nigeria, cities like Lagos, Port Harcourt and Calabar has benefitted immensely in economic growth and household income due to the presence of naval bases in their domain.

The same is also applicable in the developed countries. Even in the United States, A State like Texas estimated that military installations contributed at least $123.6 billion to the Texas economy in 2019, and supported more than 630,000 jobs in communities across the state.

Following Federal Government approval for the establishment of a naval base in Oguta Imo State, with the new approval for dredging of the Orashi river into the Atlantic,  the host community is set to reap bountifully from these activities.

The spending activities from the construction and eventual
takeoff of navigation activities  will help to sustain the economy of the local community by creating employment opportunities across a wide range of sectors, both directly and indirectly.

Not only will contracts be awarded to private companies for equipment supplies, construction and various services such as schools, healthcare facilities and information technology will be provided in the community leading to massive job creation.

Active duty and civilian employees will also spend their military wages on goods and services produced locally thereby activating the local markets around the Oguta area and even beyond.

It will be remembered that a high powered delegation from the Naval Headquarters Abuja had visited Imo State to inspect the location of the approved naval base at Ossemoto Community in Oguta local government area.

Today another delegation is here again to chat the course for dredging the Orashi river to link the Atlantic ocean.

And we say, congratulations to His Excellency, Distinguished Senator Hope Uzodimma for his farsightedness and determination to succeed and most importantly open the South East into the Atlantic ocean.

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