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Senate urges quick completion of Niger river port project

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[FILES] Senate. Photo: TWITTER/NGRSENATE

The Senate yesterday urged the Federal Government to quickly complete the Baro River port project in Niger State.

It also urged the President Muhammadu Buhari administration to facilitate the rehabilitation of the narrow gauge railway in Baro for the rapid socio-economic growth of the country, canvassing the dredging and maintenance of the National Inland Water Ways (NIWA) to ensure navigability.

The upper chamber legislative chamber mandated its committees on Marine Transport and Works to investigate activities on the port and make recommendations to facilitate its completion.

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This was a sequel to the adoption of a motion at plenary on the urgent need to complete all the components of Baro River Port Project of Lower River Niger sponsored by Bima Enagi (APC Niger) and co-sponsored by 22 others.

Presenting the motion, Enagi said the Federal Government had awarded a contract for the dredging of the Lower River Niger, construction of Baro Port and installation of cargo equipment.

He said the project was designed to ensure access road for movement of goods and services to the northern part of the country for improved socio-economic activities in the region.

Besides, the chamber has asked the Federal Government to encourage local textile manufacturing companies through the provision of soft loans and access to credit facilities through the Bank of Industry (BOI).

The lawmakers said it was expedient for the government to provide the necessary infrastructure to encourage local production.

They also asked the government to restrict the importation of foreign textile materials for five years.

The upper legislative chamber agreed that revamping the nation’s textile industry would provide huge employment opportunities for the youths and consequently reduce some of the social vices in the country.

It concluded that if the industry was resuscitated, it would provide additional revenue and assist the government in its desire to diversify the economy.

Senate President Ahmad Lawan said the textile market was huge but facing setbacks through dwindling power supply.

He, therefore, called for the blockage of smuggling of textile materials into the country.

Lawan said the border closure could only provide temporary relief, as the ball remains with the Federal government to fix the nation’s power challenge.

The resolutions followed the debate on the floor of the Senate yesterday on the motion, ‘Urgent need to revamp the nation’s comatose textile industry’ sponsored by Barkiya Abdullahi (Katsina Central).

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