Amaechi Flags Off Dredging Of Ajaokuta-Onitsha Waterways

Rotimi Amechi and Yahaya Bello
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•Says It Will Promote Cheaper Service Across 28 States
THE Minister of Transportation, Mr Rotimi Amaechi, has 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.
Speking further at the occasion, Amaechi commended the Managing Director of National Inland Waterways Authority NIWA, Boss Mustapha, having mobilized its dredgers to carry out the smooth navigation of badgers and vessels of 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 Baro 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 further that the river is very important and critical in compliance with the change mantra of the APC administration  as it would create employments and businesses, adding that “it will complement activities at the Lokoja River Port and create multiple benefits.”
He thanked the Governor for the interest he has shown to NIWA and the support he is currently rendering to the authority on his quest for the development of Kogi and nation at large.
He however appealed to the Ajaokuta community to leave in peace and continue to cooperate and support the National Inland Water Authority 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 of the State, Mr Yahaya Bello in a closed door meeting.
Speaking also at the inauguration, Managing Director of National Inland Waterways Authority, Boss Mustapha stated that the 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 know how 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 effort is why we have invited the Minister. “
While speaking on the Inland water transportation role in the development of Nigeria, He said it is safe and cheaper than other means of transportation, adding that the River contributes to forty per cent of Chinese GDP.
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