The Senate Committee on Marine Transport has approved the N1.3billion budget proposal for Transportation Ministry.
The Committee stated that it was committed to ensuring that the objectives of the 2017 budget are achieved through oversight exercises.
The Chairman of the Committee, Sen Ahmed Yerima, also said in Abuja Thursday during budget defence of the ministry that rigorous oversight would follow the budget approval to ensure proper implementation.
He assured that the senate would work with the executive to get the country out of recession, adding that they would support any agency of government that showed commitment.
Also speaking, the Transportation Minister disclosed that contract for the dredging of the critical part of River Benue has been awarded and that work will soon commence.
He said the project was a fall out of the decision of the Federal Government to maximize the use of the resources of 12 major rivers in the country.
The minister added that the capital dredging of the Lower River Niger from Warri to Baro, covering a distance of 572 kilometers had commenced.
He added that Baro River Port had achieved 95 percent completion, adding that arrangement was being made for the provision of cargo handling equipment and the turning basin for the port.
According to him, government has approved the upward review of fees and tariffs for the National Inland Waterways Authority (NIWA), to enable the country look inward and improve its economic base.
He said the government was determined to encourage a river dependent sustainable economic development through marine transportation.
“The 2017 budget is for economic recovery and growth, therefore the Federal Ministry of Transportation and its agencies under the 2017 budget seek to consolidate and sustain on the achievements and performances recorded in the past years.
“We will focus on the sustainability of the gains achieved in the sector, in terms of port infrastructure development, maritime administration, human capacity building and effective technical and economic regulation.
“The Federal Executive Council has approved the Outline Business Case (OBC) for Ibom Deep Sea Port on 60, 20, 20 per cent basis between the concessionaire, Akwa Ibom government and Nigerian Ports Authority.
“On Badagry deep sea port, FEC has approved the OBC for the project to the funded 100 per cent by the proponent,” he said.
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