NIWA mulls linking Baro Port by rail, road network
The National Inland Waterways Authority (NIWA), has expressed its commitment to work with all stakeholders in the quest to link the N6billion Baro River Port with good roads and rail network.
The Managing Director, NIWA, George Moghalu, who made this commitment during an official visit to the facility in Niger State, said the port is very important to the national economy, hence his first choice of familiarisation visit.
He said he was ready to partner with all government agencies, local and state governments and the private sector to link the port with roads and rail network, promising that the railway lines at Baro would be brought back to life.
Moghalu said: “The waterways hold a great potential, and all hands must be on deck to develop and improve our waterways. We are going to encourage the private sector to key into the industry.”
Baro Port lies on the bank of River Niger, but no one can access the road during the rainy season, as it is cut-off by gullies. The access road leading to the River Port from the Gegu Expressway in Kogi State is not motorable.
President Mohammadu Buhari, while inaugurating the project in January this year, had promised to rehabilitate the roads leading to the port and its environs, if given an opportunity of a second term in office.
He said the port would enhance intermodal transportation connectivity in the country, adding that it would also reduce pressure from big trucks off the roads, and create huge employment opportunities for Nigerians, while also decongesting other busy ports.
However, operators believe that although the port had been inaugurated, there is an urgent need to rehabilitate the access road, if the project is to be of any economic value to the nation.
Baro River Port was built by Chinese firm, CGCC Global Project Nigeria Limited, at a total cost of N6 billion. It is equipped with a mobile harbour crane, transit shed, administrative block, fire hydrant system, water treatment plant, reach stacker, 100KVA power generating set, and three numbers forklifts of various tonnages.
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