The Minister of Transportation, Rotimi Amaechi, on Thursday, said the contract for the dredging of the critical part of River Benue has been awarded and that work will commence soon.
Disclosing this at the 2017 budget defense before the Senate Committee on Marine Transport, the minister said project was a fall out of the decision of the federal government to maximise the use of the resources of 12 major rivers in the country.
Amaechi explained that the government president Mohammedu Buhari’s led government is determined to encourage a river dependent sustainable economic development through marine transportation.
According to him, “the 2017 budget is for economic recovery and growth,therefore the Federal Ministry of Transportation and its agencies under the 2017 budget seek to consolidate and sustain on the achievements and performances recorded in the past years.
“We will focus on the sustainability of the gains achieved in the sector, in terms of port infrastructure development, maritime administration, human capacity building and effective technical and economic regulation.
“The Federal Executive Council has approved the Outline Business Case (OBC) for Ibom Deep Sea Port on 60, 20, 20 per cent basis between the concessionaire, Akwa Ibom government and Nigerian Ports Authority.
“On Badagry deep sea port, FEC has approved the OBC for the project to be funded 100 per cent by the proponent.”
While making the committee’s official statement, the chairman, Senate Committee on Marine Transport, Senator Ahmed Yerima said the senate was committed to ensuring that the objectives of the 2017 budget achieved through oversight exercises.
Yerima said that as soon as the budget proposal was considered and approved, rigorous oversight would follow to ensure proper implementation and noted that the senate had approved the ministry’s N1.3 billion budget estimate for 2017.