01 January 2019, Sweetcrude, Lagos — There are indications that poor access to roads may pose a challenge to effective deployment of the N1.5 billion cargo handling equipment in the Baro River Port in Niger State.
The Managing Director, National Inland Waterways Authority, Senator Olorunnimbe Mamora, had said the installation of the cargo handling equipment was completed, adding that the port would soon be inaugurated by President Muhammadu Buhari.
NIWA, in November, raised the alarm over the condition of the road and the challenge it posed to the installation of the cargo handling equipment.
But the Managing Director, First Index Nigeria Limited, the contractors handling the installation of the cargo handling equipment, Mr. Opeyemi Olabanji, complained that the contractors could not move their cranes and other cargoes to the port with trucks because of the bad road.
NIWA, therefore, called on the Federal Government to urgently rehabilitate the road because the project would be of economic value to the nation.
The agency was quoted in a statement by its General Manager, Corporate Affairs, Tayo Fadile, as saying, “The access road leading to the river port from the Gegu Expressway in Kogi State is not motorable and needs urgent rehabilitation by the Federal Government if the project is to be of any economic value to the nation.
“The construction of Baro River Port in Niger State was completed two years ago; and if put into use, it will create more than 2,000 jobs for the teeming youth. It will also boost the economy of the state and the nation.”
Following the complaints, Mamora had directed NIWA engineers to rehabilitate the access road to enable the contractors to move their equipment to the site.
But residents of the communities around the port have said the palliative measure would only allow access to the port during the dry season.
They said the road would be impassable during the rainy season next year, urging Buhari to award the construction of the road to a reputable firm that would make it a standard route to the port.
The contract for the Baro River Port was awarded by the Goodluck Jonathan administration to Messrs CGGC Global Projects Limited in 2012 for N2.5bn