The Rivers State Government has reiterated its commitment to ensure safety on the Bonny Port Harcourt Marine Corridor.
The State Deputy Governor Dr. Mrs. Ipalibo Harry Banigo stated this at a meeting with the Executive Members of the Bonny Maritime Boat Owners Association to fashion out ways to ensure the safety of seafarers on that route at the Government House in Port Harcourt.
She said Bonny is important to the entire country because it hosts the Nigerian Liquefied Natural Gas Company which is a very important National Asset, stressing that issues of security are of great concern to Governor Nyesom Ezenwo Wike.
Dr. Banigo said she will convene another meeting with the Security Operatives and the Care Taker Committee Chairman of Bonny Local Government Area to find out why the gun boats the Governor provided are not in use and take necessary steps to ensure they are deployed to provide security on the water ways.
“His Excellency has approved and released two gun boats to that area and we are aware that the marine police have two, so we want to know why these gun boats are not in use and if there are logistic issues we want to get on top of them, so we need to have another meeting with the security operatives and the Chairman of the Bonny Local Government area Care Taker Committee” Dr. Banigo quipped.
The Deputy Governor who advised boat operators to ensure their boats are upgraded and are in good condition said they could take advantage of the Rivers State Micro Finance Agency to source for funds to upgrade their boats.
According to Dr. Banigo who promised to donate some life vests to the Association, Safety is of top most priority and boat operators must ensure that all passengers on board wear the appropriate life vests especially now that they have resorted to be passing through the deep ship channel.
She also called on the multinational companies in the area to donate life vests as part of their corporate social responsibilities.
“Please talk to your members that if their boats or engines are faulty they should not use them, don’t manage, don’t take chances, wear life vest when the weather is bad, especially in this rainy season because every single life is important to us” she said.
The Deputy Governor said she will visit the Bonny Nembe, Bille Jetty soon to ascertain the veracity of claims that some section of the ongoing construction work at the Jetty is collapsing, expressed the State Government’s commitment to deliver the best quality projects that will stand the test of time to the Rivers People.
The Chairman Marine Workers Union of Nigeria Comrade Maxwell Hart had earlier informed the Deputy Governor of challenges they were encountering and called for the State Government’s intervention.
Reported by Owupele Benebo, Head of Press Unit, Deputy Governor’s Office Port Harcourt.