The Minister of Transportation, Rotimi Amaechi, is set to launch the dredging of the 162 km Ajaokuta-Onitsha waterways on April 28, in Kogi.
Amaechi told newsmen on Tuesday in Abuja, that the dredging was an initiative of the National Inland Waterways Authority (NIWA).
The minister commended the Managing Director of NIWA for the initiative, adding that already NIWA had mobilised its dredgers to carry out maintenance dredging on the Ajaokuta-Onitsha waterways to ensure smooth navigation of barges and vessels.
“This is a good idea; the NIWA boss tries to get back our old dredgers to do the dredging by ourselves, not by contract, because we do not have money to award contract.
“Those companies that can use barges can move their freight; it is 2.5-metre raft.
“They can use it to arrive at the Ajaokuta ramp for berthing; we just want the waterways to be navigable,’’ the minister said.
He said that the move would go a long way in facilitating the transportation of freight to the eastern part of the country.
The first phase of the project would include 80metres radius from the ramp, 250 metres upstream and 250 metres down stream.