Organized Private Sector Mulls Completion of Lokoja Inland River Port Through Private Partnership

The Organised Private Sector in Kogi State and the Management of Nigeria Inland Waterways are mulling a Partnership arrangements between the Government and the Private Sector that would lead to the completion of the Jamata Inland River Port, located in Lokoja

The call for the completion of the Inland Port that was first awarded in 2012 by the Federal Government through a private partnership arrangement was made today when the Organized Private Sector, made up of Shippers Council of Nigeria, Shippers Association, Manufacturing Association of Nigeria, Nigeria Association of Small Scale Industrialists (NASSI), Kogi State Chamber of Commerce, Industry and Agriculture and a high powered Management Staff of Nigerian Inland Waterways visited the Port for a facility tour.

Engr. Joseph Ororo, General Manager, Marine Services, NIWA and Engr. Agbalu Fidelis, GM Ports and Environmental Services were amongst other top management staff of NIWA at the facility tour.

While the Organized Private Sector lauded the efforts of the Government thus far, decried the slow pace of work on the port, pointing out that if the Port is operational it would help reduce cost of doing business.

The Private Sector said the location of Lokoja and the port cannot be overemphasized, lamented that travel time, lost of man hours, delapidated nature of the State of Nigerian roads, has made it very important to complete the Lokoja Port.

The stakeholders identified adequate budgetary funding as factor that has slowed down the pace of work since it was first awarded in 2005 and later in 2012.

While pointing out that following the 2012 flooding that was witnessed in the state, led to a call for a variation of the contract, lamented that it took many years until 2021 when it got an approval for variation from the earlier N4.1b to N6.4b.

The Private Sector team led by Okolue A. Ify, Director, North Central Zone of the Shippers Council and Edwin Ignatius, Director General, Nigeria Shippers Council, Kogi State Chapter
led in the passionate appeal to the Federal Government to ensure the completion of the Jamata Inland River Port located in Lokoja, pointing out that the economic benefits which are enormous for the country remains unquantifiable.

The various representatives of the Private Sectors, pointed out that following the benefits that would accrued the country when completed, called on the Government to seek for a private sector partnership arrangement that would see to the completion of the Port.

Speaking on behalf of the NIWA team, Engr. Joseph Ororo, General Manager, Marine Services, NIWA and Engr. Agbalu Fidelis, GM Ports and Environmental Services disclosed that the Jamata Inland River Port is at 59% completion expressed optimism the main quay structure would be ready by the end of the year.

The NIWA team disclosed that as part of effort to beat inflation, a state of the art cargo lifting equipment and other equipments needed for the take off of the Port has been procured awaiting completion.

Earlier, Engr. Muazu E. U, Assistant General Manager Engineering, while explaining the extent of work done thus far and facilities expected at the port on completion, disclosed that the quay wall is 150m in length, has a Ware house that is 90m by 40m, said the installation of the ship piles has been completed.

He added that the port on completion would have an open storage, administrative building and a Staff quarters, expressed optimism that with the adequate release of funds, the Port would be completed in good time.

Engr. Mauzu explained that the major work of reclamation of sand filling of 10m has been completed, said the main quay structure and the completion of the wharf, with the warehouse that has 60 piles but has been able to achieve 47 piles would be completed soon and the port ready for operation.

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