The Federal Executive Council (FEC) on Wednesday in Abuja approved N8.2 billion for the construction of Inland Waterway Port at Jamata near Lokoja, and dredging of a channel along the Orashi River.
The Minister of Information, Mr Labaran Maku, stated this while briefing State House Correspondents on the outcome of the weekly FEC meeting, presided over by President Goodluck Jonathan.
The amount is also expected to finance the reclamation works along the River Niger.
Giving a breakdown of the expenditure, Maku said N4.1 billion would be spent on the construction of the Inland River Port, Jamata, while N2 billion would go into the dredging of a channel along the Orashi River from Oguta Lake in Imo to Degema in Rivers.
The minister added that N2.1 billion would be expended on shore protection and dredging reclamation works at selected sites along the River Niger.
He said the reclamation works would be carried out at Patani and Aseomoku in Delta; Ilushi in Edo as well as Okun and Kelebe in Kogi.
So, today the Council approved the construction of an Inland Waterway Port at Jamata, near Lokoja, as part of the main projects to make the dredging of the (River) Niger commercially viable and useful to the economy.
''Also in continuation of the improvement of the inland waterways transportation, the Minister of Transport again brought another memo to the council seeking the dredging of Orashi River from Oguta Lake in Imo State to Degema in Rivers.
''The Orashi River is one of the key inland waterways that government has decided to invest in, in order to promote inland water transportation right from Port Harcourt or Brass to the Orashi River in Imo State.”
The minister stated that the dredging project would include disposal of dredged materials in and around the river to construct a navigation channel that would accommodate vessels with drafts of up to 1.5 metres.
According to him, the project will create 90 professional and non-professional job opportunities for Nigerians during its execution.
Maku also revealed that the Council ratified the African Tax Administration Forum Agreement entered into by the Federal Inland Revenue Service along with the Rules and Procedure of the Forum, for it to take effect in Nigeria.
He said that the Minister of National Planning, Dr Shamsudeen Usman, had also briefed the Council on the progress of the Transformation Agenda of the President Jonathan-led administration.
Maku said the reports included “what the Ministries, Departments and Agencies (MDAs) have been doing and expected to do towards meeting the goals of the Agenda.”