‘Dredging of rivers Niger, Benue to generate two million jobs’
Kogi State Governor, Yahaya Bello has said that the hydrographic survey and charting of the lower Rivers Niger and Benue, when completed, can create over two million direct and indirect jobs.
The Governor stated during the official flag-off of the survey and charting of the lower rivers Niger and Benue at Julius Berger Jetty, Ajaokuta in Ajaokuta local government area of Kogi State.
Governor Bello, who was the guest of honour at the occasion, expressed gratitude to President Muhammadu Buhari for improving infrastructure development in the country.
He added that the hydrographic survey and charting of lower rivers Niger and Benue would unlock more economic activities on the coastal areas in the country.
He maintained that the project was part of efforts to reactivate economic activities on Nigerian Inland Waterways, and commended the initiative of the Nigerian Navy, National Inland Waterways Authority (NIWA), in partnership with Nigerian Export-Import Bank (NEXIM), over the commencement of the hydrographic survey and Charting of the Lower Rivers Niger and Benue.
The major contractor, Sealink consortium, expressed gratitude that the project finally came to reality, after ten years of being in the pipeline.
The Chief of Naval Staff, Vice Admiral Awwal Zubairu Gambo, speaking at the flag-off, noted that the project is a welcome development to expand commercial activities along the coastal lines in the country and also help in the areas of the security of mariners and other stakeholders.
The Chief of Naval Staff explained that the Department of Hydrographic of the Nigerian Navy in collaboration with the experts from the National Inland waterways will carry out the technical aspects of the survey, charting and mapping of the lower rivers of Niger and Benue.
The Managing Director, National Inland Waterways Authority, George Moghalu, who expressed appreciation to the federal government, pointed out that for NIWA, the project will give a major impetus to the Authority’s efforts towards the rapid development of inland water transportation in Nigeria.