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Lokoja River Port Set To Commence Operations

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The management of the National Inland Waterways Authority,  (NIWA) has signed a monumental N1.6 billion contract with a private firm for the supply of and installation of 64 Tonne mobile harbour crane on Lokoja – Jamata River port complex.  SAM EGWU reports

The management of the National Inland Waterways Authority,  (NIWA) has signed a monumental N1. 6 billion contract with  Messers Liehbers Nigeria Limited for the supply of and installation of 64 Tonne mobile harbour crane on Lokoja – Jamata River port complex.

When fully developed,  Lokoja river port like that of Baro will help to keep several heavy duty trailers and trucks off the road to extend the life span of the highways and equally reduce accidents on the roads.

The scheme will also provide employment opportunities for  thousands of youths.

Aside the plan to fix the transit shed and administrative blocks, facilities such as water hydrant system, water treatment plant and forklifts of different tonages are possibilities for the Lokoja water port.

Speaking at the event, the managing director of NIWA, Senator Olorunibe Mamora expressed his determination to ensure the workability of the contract.

Mamora promised to manage what is on ground, saying that all hands must be on deck to make NIWA work.

“Lokoja is our landlord,  it’s only fair for it to benefit from NIWA projects. We will pursue it, it’s not the best decision when contractors don’t deliver as agreed. There is commitment to ensuring the commissioning of the river port in operation in Lokoja which is why we are signing the contract.

“Lokoja will be relevant in terms of water transportation, this was used by the colonial masters with the relics all over the river bank at Kpata and must be made to take its pride of place as the confluence state cannot be allowed to lose its significance in terms of leadership of water transportation, a hub of aquatic splendour cannot be forgotten. Lokoja cannot be relegated to the background, never in water way potential.

“The potentials of water transportation remains to be keyed into for commercial purposes. From the river’s bank along the waterways from Lokoja to Ajaokuta, all year farming activities could be embarked upon if there is the will.

“In some countries of the world, rice and maize are not supposed to be scarce in the communities at the bank of the river, vis a vis the state and the country but the lacklustre attitude of the communities and inability to sensitise people.

“Now the water is available all other persons outside there is clamouring for white collar job which has been the country’s greatest undoing, “ he stated.

One of the most remarkable achievements that the Lagos born NIWA Managing Director would be remembered for as events are unfolding, is the marshalling strategy to fully solve boat mishap on the high seas.

Dangerous areas on the waterways will be mapped out to guide night and day travellers on the water.

Before Mamora’ s assumption of office as Managing Director of NIWA,  the Authority had embarked on some ongoing projects.

He did not only promise to complete the ongoing projects, he promised to initiate new ones and complete them in record time.

He promised to give priority attention to Lokoja – Ajaokuta, Idah in siting NIWA projects.

Mamora said that all rickety engine passenger boats on the water that place people’s lives at risk, would be looked into with a view to safeguarding and protecting passengers.

As part of safety measures, he said the use of life jackets by passengers on the waterways throughout the day and night would be enforced.

He said provision of modern working equipment,machinery, boats, dredgers,  bouys and navigation aids on the waterways would be given priority attention.

He added that the dredging and maintaining of adequate depth of water on the navigable channels across the country, are some of the projects to be executed in no time.

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