Juliana Taiwo-Obalonye, Baro, Niger
President Muhammadu Buhari on Saturday commissioned the new Baro River Port Complex, with a call on Nigerians to vote All Progressive Congress (APC) for completion of more projects and construction of new ones.
Baro River Port was built by Chinese firm CGCC Global Project Nigeria Limited at the total cost of N6 billion.
According to him, if the Baro River Port project had continued with the comprehensive masterplan for the development of the Nigerian Inland Waterways spanning over 10,000 kilometers across 28 states of the country, designed in his days as Chairman Petroleum Trust Fund (PTF), the carnages on the road of Lagos-Ibadan express way as a result of road accidents and insecurity would have been minimized.
Buhari, who noted that while other governments come to organize, others come to destroy, as he assured that the Baro Port will be upgraded, the railway revived and dual carriage way provided to improve the economic activities of the Port.
Niger State Governor Abubakar Bello said the people of Baro town were happy because the projects will provide jobs for both skilled and unskilled youths of the community.
In his remarks, the Chairman of the Nigerian Inland Water Ways (NIWA), Olorunnimbe Mamora, said the Port is the realization of the masterplan done under Buhari as Chairman PTF.
He said that considering the huge benefits of Inland water transportation and Baro’s strategic location for the evacuation of farm produce and other commodities, the present administration vigorously pursued the completion of the Port hitherto abandoned by previous administration and ensured the provision of the required equipment for its effective and efficient functioning. “It is yet another of President Buhari’s promise made and promise fulfilled.
“The Port has quay length of 150 Metres, Cargo Stacking Yard of 7,000 square meters, a Transit Shed of 3,600 square meters and estimated capacity of 5,000 TEU at a time.
“Some of the installed machinery are the 84-ton mobile harbour carne, one reach stacker, and three forklifts of varying capacities. Other facilities in this Port include the administrative block, water treatment plant, power generating plant and staff quarters among others. It is indeed a Morse right Port.”
In his remarks, Secretary to the Government of the Federation Boss Mustapha, under whose watch the project was project, noted that the Baro town is rich with history of and housed British colonial administrator Lord Luguard before he eventually moved to Lokoja.
The SGF recalled that Baro used to have a thriving river port and a railway line during the colonial era for transportation of farm produce and mineral resources.
He said the opening of the Port will revive the town’s economic activities.
Minister of transport Rotimi Ameachi said the project was completed following a presidential directive to complete all abandoned projects.
Amaechi expressed hope that the old rail lines used in the colonial days will be revived even as the road network linking the port is being upgraded.