Friday, September 11, 2009

Niger River To Be Used For More Freight Transport

Dredging program will allow greater access
Shipping News Feature

NIGERIA – The Nigerian government has implemented a program to dredge the Niger River so as to allow freight to be carried from the Atlantic Ocean into the interior of the country. The $233 million scheme will clear silt from a 355-mile stretch of the river between Baro and Warri and is expected to take between 6 to 8 months.

Nigeria’s president, Umaru Yar'Adua, has hailed the project as of great importance as it will mean the Niger will now be capable of year-round navigation.

The president said that: “[The dredging] will provide an attractive, cheaper and safer means of haulage of goods, while engendering linkages and promoting trading activities between adjoining communities.”

In addition, the government expects that the clearance will secure the flow of water to hydro-electric plants, something of concern particularly with the Kainji dam in the north-west of the country.