FG To Begin River Benue Dredging Next Year – Ibrahim
The Acting Managing Director, National Inland Waterways Authority, Danladi Ibrahim, has said the dredging of the River Benue will commence fully next year. He stated this on Monday at a press conference in Lagos.
According to him, the dredging of the River Benue will boost commercial activities around the two river ports of Onitsha and Baro, which will come on stream before the end of this year.
Ibrahim also said that NIWA would complete the ongoing construction of the Lokoja and Oguta River ports later this year.
He added that the agency was collaborating with countries in Europe and China on waterways development.
He said the Lokoja Port was already 75 per cent completed, while the Oguta Port in Imo State was 70 per cent completed.
Ibrahim stated, “We are looking at the Lokoja and Oguta ports to be completed in 2018. We have also completed one of our major ports in Baro.
“The two ports will be completed before the end of the year. As soon as the budget implementation starts, we will swing into action.”
Ibrahim, who also stated that the agency was going to buy equipment in batches to start moving cargoes from Lagos ports to Onitsha and Baro, noted that when the Onitsha, Lokoja and Baro River ports commence operation, they would create over 2,000 jobs.
He added that the maintenance dredging from Ajaokuta to Onitsha would be done as soon as allocation in the 2018 budget was released.
The NIWA acting MD said the agency had embarked on direct maintenance dredging of its channels, and that of Baro to Idah in Kogi State was recently completed.
“We are getting additional dredgers to enhance our capacity for in-house maintenance dredging of the channels,” he stated, adding that since the Onitsha Port had been given to a private operator as a concession, it would soon start operation.