By Abu Nmodu, Minna
The Baro Port project in Agaie local government area of Niger State will create not less 4, 000 direct and indirect jobs when completed, stakeholders have said.
Speaking with LEADERSHIP, the chairman of Agaie local government area, the host area of the inland port, Captain Mohammed Hassan Baro, said the number of jobs that would be created through economic activities around the port was too significant to be ignored.
Baro said the project would not only change the economic fortunes of the host communities, but also the entire Niger State.
According to him, the people have shown readiness for the operation of the port and are worried by the continued delay of the project.
He called on the federal government and the contractors handling the various projects to expedite action to ensure timely completion and takeoff of Baro Port.
“The roads and rail lines must be put in good shape. From Minna to Baro by rail is about eleven kilometres. Again, the contract of the 54km Baro to Katcha road awarded about six years ago is yet to take off,” Baro lamented.
He urged members of the National Assembly from Niger South to, as a matter of urgency, raise a motion on the issue, saying the continued silence on the Baro Port project is not in the economic interest of the people or the country at large.
In the same vein, a group under the aegis of Baro Port Rescue, has expressed dissatisfaction over the level of work at Baro Port and the link projects, saying the government must walk the talk and show commitment to the project.
Speaking with LEADERSHIP, its secretary general, Ibrahim Akib Ja’afaru, decried the poor infrastructure and lack of preparedness for the commencement of full operation of the port.
According to him, Baro is in a deplorable state, as the construction works on the roads have been abandoned by both government and contractors handling the project.
Meanwhile, the federal government , few weeks ago, said three contractors were currently working on the access road of Baro Port.
The director, Press and Public Relations in the Federal Ministry of Works, Mrs Boade Akinola, told LEADERSHIP that the Baro Port-Guru town axis road was being handled by Building & Construction Nigeria Ltd sponsored with SUKUK and Budget funds, Gulu-Yaba axis was being handled by GR Building, while Yaba-Yangoji was being handled by JM A’s Lubell Nigeria Ltd through appropriation.
“There are plans to include the other two sections in subsequent SUKUK issuance to speed up the project’s completion.
“GR is surveying and doing preliminary works, while the other two are already doing site clearance. More progress will be made after the rains,” she had said.