Access Roads stalling Baro Port from Take off – NIWA MD

The non completion of the major access roads to the multi-million Naira Baro Inland Port in Niger State is stalling its take off, according to the Managing Director of the National Inland Waterways Authority (NIWA), Dr George Moghalu.

While speaking with Journalist on Sunday in Lokoja, Moghalu said the authority is working round the clock by reaching out to appropriate authorities in a bid to get access roads to the facility fixed.

He noted that the port is critical to the operations of the Nigeria’s waterways, especially being a feeder to inland dry ports in Kaduna and others been proposed by the federal government.

Stakeholders have expressed worries over the inability of the federal government to put the Baro port to use more that a year after its commissioning by President Muhammadu Buhari.

The Etsu Nupe, Alhaji Yahaya Abubakar and the Niger State government have recently appealed to the federal government to accelerate work on the main access road from Agaie town in Agaie local government area through Katcha to Baro. Governor Abubakar Sani Bello and the Etsu believed that the port is a key catalyst for trade stimulation and economic development of the North in particular and Nigeria at large.

There are two major access roads to the ancient community – the 55 kilometers Baro/Katcha/Agaie and Baro/Muye linking Gegu on Abuja/Lokoja expressway both of which are in deplorable condition. The federal government had awarded the contract for the Baro/Katcha/Agaie axis. NIWA is also considering the option of approaching the host state government of Niger with the intent of persuading it to collaborate with the federal government on the matter. The Baro port was constructed by a Chinese firm, CGCC Project Limited, at the cost of N5.8 billion. The port boasts of a quay length of 150 metres, cargo stacking yard of 7,000 square metres, a transit shed of 3, 600 square metres and an estimated capacity of 5,000 TEU at a time.

FG committed to completion of Lokoja Inland Port – NIWA MD

The Managing Director of the National Inland Waterways Authority, (NIWA) Dr. George Muoghalu has restated the commitment of the administration of President Muhammadu Buhari to the completion of the Lokoja inland Port.

The MD who gave this hint in Lokoja while answering questions from journalists on Wednesday, who were on visit to the Authority, noted that it is the desire of government to ensure that the Nigeria waterways is Navigable all year round.

He maintained that if the waterways are put to effective use, it will help to reduce pressure on the roads and save the country huge resources being invested in the maintenance of the roads every year.

While expressing concern over the slow pace of work on the Jamata River port in Lokoja, several years after the contract was signed, he said the federal executive council has ordered the review of the contract terms to fast track the completion of the project.

He said the Authority has concluded arrangements to procure additional dredgers to carry out maintenance dredging of the water channels for easy navigation.

Speaking on how to manage the economy after the COVID-19 pandemic, Muoghalu called on government at all levels to gear up for post COVID-19 engagement towards ensuring that the economy is revived to guarantee efficiency.

“The federal and the state Governments has shown capacity in the management of the COVID-19 pandemic. My worry is how to revamp the economy which has been greatly affected by the pandemic.

“The year 2020 appropriation has been adjusted to reflect current realities. My advice to government at all levels is to prepare for the post COVID-19 engagement. We must all join hands together to revive the economy for optimal performance.”