We Shall Deliver Rice at Affordable Cost If River Niger is Dredged, Says Kebbi Governor

Kebbi State Governor , Senator Abubakar Atiku Bagudu has made a case for the dredging of the River Niger, saying this will facilitate movement of agricultural produce to many parts of the country.
Bagudu said that his state will be in a position to deliver rice to many parts of the country at affordable prices with waterway transportation.
The governor who spoke last week in Lagos during the breakfast meeting organised by the Nigerian Shippers Council (NSC) on the financing of Truck Transit Parks (TTPs) and Inland Container Depots (IDPs) said water transportation has a lot of advantages in moving goods and passengers to many parts of the country at affordable costs.
He disclosed that the state was planning to send a proposal to the Ministry of Transportation on the issue of river Niger dredging to make it easy for movement of agricultural produce.
He complained that movement of goods by road has become very expensive, adding that River Niger dredging which will facilitate water transportation will go a long way helping farmers who have goods to deliver to many parts of the country.
He also solicited the support of the Ministry of Transport and the NSC to consider approving an IDP that is also being planned in the state.
According to him, a combination of rail and water transport will make things easier for transportation of goods instead of roads.
The former Governor of the state, Senator Adamu Aliero also supported the Governor in the request for the dredging of River Niger and approval for the establishment of IDPs and TTPs.
Aliero said so much is being spent on the road, adding that a way out is to have functional water transportation and rail services that will move goods at affordable cost.
He assured that the Senate will give every support to the Ministry in addressing infrastructural issues affecting transport sector in the country.
Although government had spent so much in River Niger dredging to the tune of N34bn, the effect is yet to be felt in terms of movement of goods.
Amaechi had earlier in the year told the Senate that River Niger can only be used if there is constant maintenance dredging to allow flow of goods to different parts of the country.
The administration of former President Umaru Musa Yar’Adua in order to boost economic activities through the waterways launched the dredging of lower River Niger and construction of seven additional seaports in the country.
The ports were located at Agenebode in Edo, Idah in Kogi, Yenagoa, Baro in Niger, Lokoja, Aguata in Anambra and Ogbabe.
Amaechi told the Senate that out of the N47bn awarded for the River Niger dredging, N34bn has been paid to contractors by the past administration.
But despite this, people living on the bank of the river had complained there was nothing to show for the huge investment.

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