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Poor Road Threatens N3.5bn Baro River Port

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Bad state of the road leading to the Baro River Port, Niger State is threatening the completion of the project, LEADERSHIP investigation has shown.

The office complex which was awarded at N2.5billion while the cargo handling equipment worth about N1.5bn was completed in 2016.

The cargo handling equipment was commissioned and some of its cargo handling equipment are yet to be installed due to the bad condition of the road leading to the port.

The lack of completion of the River Port has also deprived Nigerian youths about 2,000 direct and indirect jobs

Recall that the N3.5 billion Baro River port awarded under the administration of former President Goodluck Ebele Jonathan in 2011/12  at a cost of N2,563,499,248.00 by the Federal Executive Council to Messrs CGGC Global Projects Ltd.

But,  since the completion, the contractor handling the installation of Cargo handling equipment has not been able to deliver it due to the bad state of the roads.

It was gathered that no one could access the river port by road as it has been cut away by gullies which made the road difficult to access by vehicles and even motorcycles.

For instance, the access road leading to the River Port from the Gegu express way in Kogi State is not motorable and needed urgent rehabilitation by the federal government if the project is to be of any economic value to the nation.

Speaking in an interview with LEADERSHIP, the managing director of First Index Nigeria Limited, the Contractor handling the installation of the Cargo handling equipment at the River Port, Mr. Opeyemi Olabanji, explained that they are going through serious challenges because of the deplorable condition of the access road.

He said they cannot move their cranes and other cargoes to the port, he further said that the cargo handling equipment are very heavy and the trucks carrying the equipment cannot pass through the bad road. 

He however hoped that the Federal Government will see the need to urgently fix the road for the interest of the nation and for evacuation of the handling equipment to the river port.

Olabanji however urged the federal government to commence permanent solution to the dilapidated access road if it want the river port to be in proper use and contribute to the development of the country.

“I commended the National Inland Waterways Authority (NIWA) for the palliative measures they are putting to make sure the equipment arrives at the River Port but emphasis must be made for a lasting solution to the deplorable condition of the road,” he said.

However, a top management staff in NIWA told LEADERSHIP that even though the federal government had invested over N3.5bn in building the cargo handling equipment, the port still remained unused because of the bad state of the road.

The source said, “So much funds have been invested in the Baro River Port project running into over N3.5billion Naira. It is embarrassing that the port still remains unused, simply because the major road leading to the port is impassable.”

However, when contacted, the general manager, Corporate Affairs, Tayo Fadile confirmed that the River Port has been completed in 2016 but has become inaccessible due to the bad state of the road.


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