The National Inland Waterways Authority (NIWA) has urged the private sector to take advantage of the dredged section of the lower River Niger by investing in ferries and barges.
The Corporate Affairs Manager of NIWA, Tayo Fadile, made the call recently when he said that the 572-kilometre dredged section from Baro in Niger State to Warri in Delta State was navigable and only waiting for investors for more action.
He urged manufacturers along the corridor to emulate the West African Ceramic Company, Ajaokuta, Kogi State, which he said had put barges on the river to move its products to different parts of the country.
Fadile maintained that patronage of the nation’s waterways had been on the increase since the completion of the dredging and maintenance dredging of the river a few years ago.
However, he said that there was the need to up the movement of goods and services on the river so that the country could reap maximum benefits from the project.
“NIWA has embarked on the sensitisation of stakeholders and wooing private sector operators to invest in inland waterways either individually or on Public Private Partnership basis,” he said.
He also added that NIWA had constructed inland river ports and jetties along the river as part of efforts to make it attractive to investors and users.
Fadile said that the organisation had also put in place safety and security measures to protect goods and passengers and ensure all year-round navigation on the river.