The National Inland Waterways Authority (NIWA) has said that the concession of Baro River Port, Niger State is being considered as a concessionaire has submitted a proposal to construct the access road if he finally fines the concession.
As part of the efforts by the Federal Government to make the port operational, the port access road is being considered to link to Abuja, the federal capital territory.
Recall that President Muhammadu Buhari on January 19, 2019, commissioned the Baro River Port in Niger State in what the administration counted as one of its major achievements.
Managing Director, National Inland Waterways Authority (NIWA) Chief George Moghalu disclosed this at a 2-day training programme in Lagos, organised by the Association of Maritime Journalists of Nigeria (AMJON).
Moghalu, who was represented at the event by the Deputy General Manager, Legal Service, NIWA, Barr Naziru Biyankare, said that the Baro Port now has a concessionaire who has undertaken to reconstruct the dilapidated port access road.
Though the name of the concessionaire was undisclosed, he noted that already the company has applied to the government in order to address the road infrastructure decay.
He said after the commissioning in 2019, the port suffered some setbacks due to the deplorable road network to the facility.
According to him, the concessionaire has agreed to take over the project from the major road down to the port for optimal utilisation.
“As I speak with you now we have a concessionaire who applied to take over the port and then construct the road so that it can start operation. Apart from that, the Federal Government is looking at how the road will link Baro to Abuja.”
On Onitsha River Port, Moghalu stated that the facility was already in full operation.
The Managing Director affirmed that NIWA offers a very critical role in the nation’s maritime industry through the execution of its mandate of developing the inland waterways of Nigeria and its regulations nationwide.
On the conflict between NIWA and the Lagos State Government on waterways operation, he disclosed that the case has gotten to the Supreme Court, saying judgment will soon be passed to ascertain the proper definition of the exclusive operational scope of the brown waters.
He however said that NIWA and the Lagos State Waterways Authority LASWA have no dispute as both federal and state agencies are carrying out their responsibilities on the waterways.
Moghalu said that NIWA is in the constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria with three stages put in place by the National Assembly.