Two years after the extended time line for the completion of the contract for the dredging of River Niger, members of the House of Representatives have expressed fears that if concrete action was not taken, the project may be abandoned.
This was just as a motion to urge the Acting Inspector General of Police, Mohammed Abubakar, to reconsider the decision to dismantle all checkpoints across Nigeria failed as lawmakers roundly punctured the move with arguments that the prior roadblocks served no security purposes but only as conduit points for bribes and other nuisance by security operatives.
In part, the dredging project, if completed was expected to open up inland waterways to enhance transport of persons and cargo across the country - presently served by a dilapidating road and rail system.
A motion sponsored by Ibrahim Ebbo (Niger/PDP), noted that despite substantial payments to the contractors since the commencement of work in 2009, work on site has stopped. Ebbo particularly noted the case of LOT (5) Baro in Niger State.
The motion which sought the lower House to invite the Minister of Transport, the Managing Director of National Inland Waterways and the contractors handling the project to ascertain the actual position of the dredging was referred to the committee on marine transport for further legislative action.