The Minister of Transportation, Rotimi Amaechi, is set to launch the
dredging of the 162 km Ajaokuta-Onitsha waterways on April 28, in Kogi.
Amaechi told newsmen on Tuesday in Abuja, that the dredging was an
initiative of the National Inland Waterways Authority (NIWA).
The minister commended the Managing Director of NIWA for the
initiative, adding that already NIWA had mobilised its dredgers
tocarry out maintenance dredging on the Ajaokuta-Onitsha waterways to
ensure smooth navigation of barges and vessels.
“This is a good idea; the NIWA boss tries to get back our old dredgers
to do the dredging by ourselves, not by contract, because we do not
have money to award contract. “Those companies that can use barges can
move their freight; it is 2.5-metre raft.
We just want the waterways to be navigable,’’ the minister said. He
said that the move would go a long way in facilitating the
transportation of freight to the eastern part of the country. The
first phase of the project would include 80metres radius from the
ramp, 250 metres upstream and 250 metres down stream.