Nigeria: Government Wants to Speed-Up Dredging on Lower Niger River

The federal government is determined to fast-track the completion of the dredging of the lower Niger River, the resuscitation of the Ajaokuta Steel Company, as well as the resuscitation of the National Iron Ore Mining Company, in Itakpe, Goodluck Jonathan said yesterday.

Speaking while delivering an address at the official commissioning of some key projects in Kogi State during a one-day working visit to the state yesterday, Mr Jonathan also made a pledge to see to the completion of the construction of ports in Baro, Lokoja, Idah, Onitsha and Sapele, to boost our nation’s economy.

President Jonathan said the completion of the projects “will be of immense benefit not only to the people of Kogi State, but other Nigerians at large. I am, therefore, committed to an early completion of these projects”.

While congratulating the Kogi State governor, Ibrahim Idris, on the inauguration of the international market and other projects, Mr Jonathan said the completion of the projects will go a long way in delivering the dividends of democracy to the electorate.

Mr Jonathan, who arrived at the Lokoja old Stadium aboard a helicopter at 11.20am, headed straight to the Lokoja Specialist Hospital, where he commissioned the project. Thereafter, he proceeded to commission the Ganaja-Ajaokuta Road, despite heavy rain fall, before inspecting the stadium and the Lokoja water project which was constructed at a cost of N9.9 billion and has a capacity to provide 10 million gallons of water daily.

The president’s final task was the commissioning of the Lokoja International Market, which was constructed at a cost of N3.8 billion.

The governor later said that the two projects would be completed by the first quarter of 2011.

In an address at the commissioning ceremony, Mr Idris urged the federal government to revive “the Lokoja Port project, which has been abandoned, and graciously ensure the construction of the Idah Port in order to ensure their completion and to complement the commendable dredging project which your administration has embarked upon”.

“I implore your excellency to actualise Ajaokuta project to incorporate all the major components and ensure the full realisation of this project. If you can do this sir, your name will be in gold when the history of this nation shall be written for posterity,” he said.

While also thanking the president for the ongoing dualisation of the Abuja-Lokoja-Okene Road, Mr Idris said, “we, however, appeal to your excellency to use your good offices to fast-track the completion of the project, to reduce the high incidence of road accidents which has consumed so many lives”.

By Elizabeth Archibong (234next)

Source: 234next, August 20, 2010;

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