Minister of Transportation, Rotimi Amaechi, has concluded plans to launch the dredging of the 162km Ajaokuta-Onitsha waterways on April 28, in Kogi State.
Amaechi said this to news men in Abuja. He also said that dredging was an initiative of the National Inland Waterways Authority (NIWA).
The first phase of the project will include 80 metres radius from the ramp, 250 metres upstream and 250 metres down-stream.
The minister commended the managing director of NIWA for the initiative, adding that already the agency had mobilised its dredgers to carry out maintenance dredging on the Ajaokuta-Onitsha waterways to ensure smooth navigation of barges and vessels.
“This is a good idea; the NIWA boss tries to get back our old dredgers to do the dredging by ourselves, not by contract, because we do not have money to award contract.
“Those companies that can use barges can move their freight; it is 2.5-metre raft. We just want the waterways to be navigable,’’ the former Rivers State Governor said.
In his analysis, the waterway would facilitate the transportation of freight to the eastern part of the country.