REPS URGE FG TO DREDGE RIVER BENUE
By EMMAN OVUAKPORIE
ABUJA- MEMBERS of the House of Representatives yesterday urged the Federal Government to commence dredging of River Benue from Lokoja to Jimeta with River Ports at Makurdi in Benue State, Ibi/Lau in Taraba State to ensure socio-economic activities in both zones of the country.
This was sequel to a motion brought by Aishatu Dahiru Ahmed, representing Yola North/Yola South Girel of Adamawa State, tagged 'Need to dredge the River Benue for rapid socio-Economic development.'
She had noted that 'the Niger and the Benue are the great Nigerian rivers with enormous natural endowment for socio-economic development of Nigeria.'
According to her, the 572 kilometres dredging of the lower Niger River from Baro in Niger State to Warri in Delta State has been completed by the National Inland Waterways Authority, NIIWA, and put to commercial use.
Ahmed stated that the House was aware that the Federal Government promised that Benue River will also be dredged from Lokoja to Makurdi this year to enhance inland waterways transportation.
She said: 'To ensure effective inland transportation and business activity throughout the country whatever was done to River Niger should be done to River Benue. The length of dredging of the River Benue should extend beyond Makurdi to serve Numan, Jimeta Yola and terminate at Wuro Bokki. '
She told the House that dredging River Benue would bring about navigation, reduce pressure on roads and vehicles, as well as, boost inter-modal network of transport modes as a barge that could take 300 tons of loads was capable of taking about 15 to 20 trailer loads.
Speaker of the House, Mr. Aminu Tambuwal ,had put the motion on a voice vote and the motion was unanimously adopted.
The House committee on Marine Transportation was mandated to urgently look into it and submit a report on the issue.
The motion was seconded by Mohammed Udeh, who represents Adamawa State.