By Laleye Dipo in Minna
The dredging of the Baro Port in Niger State, which was started by the administration of former President Goodluck Jonathan, is now 85 per cent completed.
The Niger State Commissioner for Transport, Alhaji Ibrahim Mohammed Panti,who disclosed this while briefing newsmen Friday, said finishing touches were already being put to the work ahead of its planned inauguration early next year by President Muhammadu Buhari.
He said the state had contributed immensely to ensure the completion of the project, adding that the General Manager of the National Inland Waterways Authority, Senator Olorunnimbe Mamora, has applauded the support of the state government towards the realisation of the project.
Describing it as “a huge capital project” Panti said the completion and commissioning of the Baro port dredging would impact positively on the socio-economic lives of the people of the state.
He said government had completed arrangements to boost road transportation in the state with the procurement of 100 vehicles for the state transport authority, pointing out that 50 of the vehicles would be delivered before the end of January 2019.
Similarly, the commissioner disclosed that in order to reduce casualties on the waterways, government had purchased 3,000 life jackets to be used by boat travellers.
He said wearing of life jackets by the travellers would soon be made compulsory in the state because a law to give it legal backing had been sent to the House of Assembly.
Panti also disclosed that the ministry had empowered 120 youths with the purchase of motorcycles, which were given to them at 50 per cent of the market price in addition to giving them reflective jackets for easy identification especially at night.
The commissioner blamed the low internally generated revenue (IGR) of the ministry on some Okada riders who refused to register their motorcycles.
“These okada riders are not indigenes, this is why we find it difficult to register their machines,” he said.
He announced plans by the ministry to establish a Motor Vehicles Administration Agency, modern motor parks in the metropolis and a modern trailer park.