The Federal Government has said that it will begin the dredging of the Ajaokuta-Onitsha waterways next week.
Speaking on behalf of the federal government, the Nigerian Minister of Transportation, Rotimi Amaechi, said the government would launch the dredging of the 162 km Ajaokuta-Onitsha waterways on Friday, April 28, in Kogi.
Mr. Amaechi, while speaking to newsmen on Tuesday in Abuja, commended the management of the National Inland Waterways Authority (NIWA) for the brilliant initiative.
He said the NIWA has asked its dredgers to carry out maintenance dredging on Ajaokuta-Onitsha waterways to ensure smooth navigation of barges and vessels.
“This is a good idea, the NIWA tried 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 162 meters. They can use it to arrive the Ajaokuta ramp for berthing within three months; we just want the waterways to be navigable” he explained.
The minister said dredging of the Ajaokuta-Onitsha waterways would go a long way in transporting freight to the eastern part of the country.
The first phase of the project would include 80 metres radius from the ramp, 250 metres upstream and 50 metres down stream.