Reps probe River Niger dredging

River Niger dredging 

The House of Representatives on Wednesday said it would investigate the dredging of the lower River Niger.

The House will also investigate the establishment of land port in Idah and Jamata in Kogi by Messrs Van Oord Nigeria Limited.

The motion for the investigation moved by Benjamin Okolo (APC-Dekina/Bassa Federal Constituency) was unanimously adopted at the plenary.

Okolo said the project to dredge the lower River Niger was an important and strategic action initiated by the administration of late President Umaru Yar’Adua.

He said the project which stretches through 572km, would affect 152 communities on the bank of the River Niger from Edo, Anambra, Imo, Bayelsa, Delta, Kogi, Niger and Rivers.

The lawmaker said the contract for dredging of 118km from Onitsha to Idah was awarded to Messrs Van Oord Nigeria Limited at the cost of N10.4 billion.

Okolo alleged that the work on the said project never took-off till date.

He said the dredging of 108km from Idah to Jamata which was awarded to the same company at the cost of N13.8 billion, was skeletal.

Okolo said the project had reached 62 per cent completion as at 2014 but was later abandoned.

The Speaker of the House, Yakubu Dogara, mandated the Committee on Ports and Waterways to investigate the matter and report to the house within four weeks for further actions.

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