Posted by Mayowa Okekale, Ajaokuta | 28 April 2017 | 2,071 times
Minister of Transportation, Mr Rotimi Amaechi, on Friday launched the maintenance dredging of the 162km Ajaokuta-Onitsha waterways, saying that it will promote multi-modal transport and cheaper coastal services across 28 states of Nigeria.
Speaking at the occasion, at Ajaokuta, Kogi State, Amaechi commended the Managing Director of the National Inland Waterways Authority (NIWA), Boss Mustapha, for mobilising NIWA’s dredgers to carry out the smooth navigation of badges and vessels on the waterways.
He said: “It is our hope to see the full concession of the Onitsha River Port before the end of the year, completion of the Lokoja River Port and supply of cargo handling equipment at Boro River Port. With this, NIWA is poised to improve the navigability of the waterways, increase the value of water fronts and generate economic activities along the river banks as well as the riverine communities.”
Amaechi added that the dredging of the river is very important and critical in compliance with the change mantra of the APC administration as it would create employment and businesses. “It will complement activities at the Lokoja River Port and create multiple benefits,” the Minister said.
He thanked Kogi State Governor, Alhaji Yahaya Bello, for the interest he has shown in NIWA and the support he is currently rendering to the authority in his quest for the development of the waterways of Kogi and the nation at large.
He, however, appealed to Ajaokuta community to live in peace and continue to cooperate with and support NIWA in its efforts to bring development to the community of which they would be the greatest beneficiaries.
Earlier, the Minister was received by the Governor and both men held a closed-door meeting.
Speaking at the occasion, NIWA MD, Boss Mustapha, stated that the dredging process has passed through critical stages because of the deep interest his administration has for river development programmes.
According to Mustapha, “We have improved on the technical knowhow, among other things. It is a focused project with proven agility. The exercise will also address bottlenecks around Ikenne border. We will continue with this exercise gradually and across other states in Nigeria. The result of our efforts is why we have invited the Minister.”
Mr. Mustapha noted that inland water transportation is safe and cheaper than other means of transportation, adding that the river contributes 40 per cent of Chinese GDP.
•Photo shows Transportation Minister Rotimi Amaechi and Governor Yahaya Bello at the launching of the maintenance dredging of the 162km Ajaokuta-Onitsha waterways . . . on Friday.
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