National News

House of Representatives calls on FG to dredge Escravos bar

The Federal House of Representatives, yesterday, called on the Federal Government to dredge the Escravos bar beyond 7.5 metres depth to improve the traffic of high tonnage vessels.

The House also urged the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation, NNPC, to relocate the oil pipelines along the Warri bar.

The resolution followed the consideration of a motion entitled “Need to Revisit the Dredging of the Escravos Bar, Warri, Koko and Sapele Ports” presented at the plenary by Thomas Ereyitomi.

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Presenting the motion, Ereyitomi noted the report that the Nigerian Ports Authority, NPA, dredged the Escravos channel in Delta State in 2018.

He said: “The Escravos bar was reportedly not dredged beyond a depth of 7.5 metres due to the presence of oil pipelines belonging to the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation, NNPC. Concerned that due to the high rate of siltation, the depth of the Escravos bar has drastically reduced to approximately 3.9 metres.

“The Warri, Koko, and Sapele ports have still not recorded improved traffic from high tonnage vessels carrying petrol and other commodities, and as such, vessels need to wait for high tides or risk running aground.

“In a bid to avoid paying demurrage, most petrol-carrying vessels which ventured into the Escravos bar in recent times have suffered damages.”

Adopting the motion, the House mandated its Committee on Ports and Harbour to ensure compliance to the resolution.

Similarly, the House also mandated its Committee on Housing and Habitat to investigate the unnecessary delays and non-refund of retirees’ contributions to the National Housing Fund by both the Federal Mortgage Bank and the National Housing Fund.

The committee will also probe the activities of the Federal Mortgage Bank and the National Housing Fund with respect to contributions, remittances from Ministries, Departments and Agencies.

Presenting the motion titled “Need to Investigate the Non-refund of Contributions to Beneficiaries by the National Housing Fund, NHF,” presented by Hon. Eta Mbora.

In his motion, Mbora noted that the National Housing Fund (NHF) was established to mobilize funds to facilitate the provision of affordable housing for employed Nigerians.

He also noted that every Nigerian earning N3, 000 or more per annum was required to contribute 2.5 percent of his or her monthly salary to the NHF.

The committee was given 4 weeks within which to conclude the investigation and report to the House for further legislative action.

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