2020 budget: Senate commits to fund Port Harcourt bonny road

The Senate on Thursday mandated its committee on works to provide adequate funding for the construction of the Port Harcourt Bonny road in the 2020 budget.

The President of the Senate, Ahmed Lawan said this at plenary while ruling on the motion “sea Pirate attack on Port Harcourt Bonny waterways” by Senator, Betty Apiafi representing Rivers West senatorial district in the Senate.

The Senate in its resolution on the motion of urgent national importance by the Peoples Democratic Party Senator, Betty Apiafi, mandated committee on works to ensure that adequate funding is provided in the 2020 budget to complete the road.

It also mandated relevant security agencies to ensure there is adequate security presence on the strategic Port Harcourt Bonny waterway, which has recorded the recent attack leading to the kidnap of persons.

The President of the Senate said the issue of security remains a very critical issue to the Senate and “this senate will work hard that we erase the security challenge that we are having as a nation for the security of lives and property.”

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Apiafi in the motion noted that the September 26 pirate attack on four passenger boats on the waterways had some passengers kidnapped.

She said the senate was aware that the 38km Bodo – Bonny road which was yet completed would link these places for the commuters and make them avoid the use of the water ways reducing their exposure to pirates.

Apiafi said the road was of extreme importance to the safety of the people and called for the senate to intervene.

While contributing to the debate on the motion at plenary on Thursday, Senator, George Sekibo representing Rivers East said the banditry has moved from the roads to the waterways reducing the chances of safe commuting by Nigerian passengers.

He lamented the increasing rate of armed banditry on the water ways and the delay on the side of the federal government to provide its own counterpart fund for the construction of the Port Harcourt  Bonny road already 50 per cent funded by the Nigerian Liquefied  Natural Gas (NLNG).

He cautioned the nation from making the sky the only means of safe transportation in the country.

Senator, representing Edo central Cliff Ordia called for drastic action by the Federal government on the issue of banditry and the associated carnage that on transport routes in the country water or roads.

He said there was a need for the “FG to step up the  funding arrangement to stem the crisis and stop the killing on our waterways.”

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