2023: Tinubu’s Presidency Will Ensure EPZ Project Becomes Reality – Omo-Agege
…As APC Campaign Hits Ugborodo, Gbaramatu Communities.
…Says Bill Establishing Maritime Varsity Almost Ready.
Deputy President of the Senate and governorship candidate of the All Progressives Congress (APC) in Delta State, Senator Ovie Omo-Agege, has said the now-abandoned Export Processing Zone (EPZ) at Ogidigben in Ugborodo, Warri South-West LGA of the state will become a reality if the presidential candidate of the party, Asiwaju Bola Tinubu, emerges Nigerian President in 2023.
Omo-Agege said he would collaborate and support the Tinubu presidency to ensure that the multi-billion-dollar EPZ project is activated and brought to fruition to the benefit of all Nigerians.
He gave the assurance on Tuesday when the Delta APC ward-to-ward campaign visited the ancient Ugborodo town and Gbaramatu Kingdom in Warri South-West Local Government Area of the state.
Highlighting some of the benefits of the project upon completion including job opportunities, Omo-Agege berated Governor Ifeanyi Okowa-led government for not taking the project as his ‘personal project’ considering its economic benefits to the people of the state.
He stated that, “Even before I listened to Itsekiri leaders here in Ugborodo, I already knew some of the challenges by myself that when I become governor, I will fight to ensure that we actualise them.
“Look at the EPZ that is there (Ogidigben). You remember that when the project started under the administration of former President Jonathan, former governor Emmanuel Uduaghan showed interest. Uduaghan was very much interested in EPZ as governor.
“But since Uduaghan left office, and Okowa came in, the project has been abandoned. When I become governor, I will consult Tinubu. I’ll liaise with oil companies. This EPZ must become reality.”
The Delta Central lawmaker also assured that his administration would tackle the problem of shore erosion which has wreaked havoc in riverine communities in the state especially in Ugborodo and Gbaramatu Communities of Warri South-West.
Omo-Agege said with him as governor, Delta government will partner the administration of Asiwaju Tinubu to revive the ailing seaports in the state as well as dredging of the Escravos River to bring back socio-economic life to the area.
He added that with Tinubu as Nigeria’s President, he would give special attention to Delta by ensuring that oil companies that had relocated from the state return, assuring that he would bring development to the riverine communities across the state.
“Before I came here, I listened to my brother, Alex Eyengho, demanding that we force the oil companies to return here…And I know when Asiwaju becomes President, we will ensure that all of them (oil companies) that left will come back here.
“Like what Chief Ayiri has done by bringing 911 here, we want our people to bring development here. This place can become a hub of tourism attraction. Ayiri could have decided that he wanted to establish it in Warri or Lekki, but he brought it here. Our administration will encourage our people to come back home to invest.
“We’ll create the enabling environment for businesses to thrive. Tinubu has already assured me that once he becomes President, NPA will work again. Koko port, Warri port and Burutu will work again. If this is done, there will be plenty of jobs for our children”, Nigeria’s fifth citizen added.
While speaking at Okerenkoko in Gbaramatu Kingdom, Senator Omo-Agege disclosed that he was already working with his colleagues at the Senate to resolve the funding issue which has stalled the signing of the bill establishing the institution.
Responding to the demands of Gbaramatu people, Delta APC governorship candidate said “The Maritime University here in Okerenkoko, I know how dear it is to the Izon nation and Delta State entirely. The school is for us all and the entire Niger Delta.
“It’s not that the bill hasn’t been passed. It’s just that when it was passed at the House of Representatives and the Senate, when it went for approval the issue of funding erupted.
“As it stands now, I’m working on the funding mechanism for the bill. I don’t want to say much here. The Pere of Gbaramatu Kingdom is aware of the work being done in that respect. And I can assure you that very soon the law that will set up the school will be signed by Mr. President which means there will be adequate funding provision.
“On the issue you raised about the floating dock, we are also on it. Recently because of the intervention of our King (Pere) we have reached out and we are working with the new minister of transportation and the DG of NIMASA to ensure that we address that very concern for the benefit of us all.
“We know that with the school functioning here and the EPZ also coming upstream, this area will boom. And when it booms here, it is for us all. You can take that to the bank. That’s my commitment.”
Speaking at the APC campaign rally, a leader of the party in the state, Chief Ayiri Emami, called on the people of Warri South-West to vote for all APC candidates in the forthcoming elections.
Ayiri specifically called on Deltans and Nigerians to truncate the ambition of Governor Okowa from becoming Vice President in 2023 by rejecting him through their votes, alleging that his administration ‘killed DESOPADEC’.
Also speaking, a former Executive Director of Projects, NDDC, Engr. Tuoyo Omatsuli and Chief Micheal Johnny called on the people of Warri South-West to vote en masse for the APC in the forthcoming elections.
Addressing a mammoth crowd of supporters in Ugborodo and Okerenkoko, a candidate of the party for Delta State House of Assembly in Warri South-West, Amb. Clement Tekedor, told the cheering crowd that he would work with Senator Omo-Agege to bring development to the area if elected as a lawmaker.
Meanwhile, the Pere of Gbaramatu Kingdom, His Royal Majesty, the Pere of Gbaramatu kingdom, Oboro-Gbaraun II, has warned politicians against instigating violence with their campaigns during next year’s general elections.
The Gbaramatu monarch spoke when the governorship candidate of the APC, Senator Omo-Agege and his deputy, Rt. Hon. Friday Osanebi, led party chieftains to his palace as Delta APC ward-to-ward campaign stormed the area.
The royal father specifically cautioned politicians to avoid hate speech and actions capable of undermining relative peace especially in the Niger Delta by imbibing issue-based campaigns.
Gbaraun II, who prayed for victory for Omo-Agege and other APC candidates during the visit, noted that as traditional ruler, he will continue to preach peace and pray for peaceful 2023 general elections.