Dredging of Orashi River not approved by government – Minister

Mua'zu Jaji Sambo, Transportation Minister

Nigeria’s Minister of Transportation Mu’azu Jaji Sambo has stated categorically that the Federal Government has not approved the dredging of Orashi River to the Atlantic Sea so as to make it the first seaport in the South East region.

The Imo State Governor, Hope Uzodinma recently claimed that the Orashi River is set to be dredged and emerge as first seaport in the South East.

Minister of Transportation, Eng Muazu Jaji Sambo during a press conference at the end of the World Maritime Day celebration in Lagos on Thursday said he was not aware of such project.

Speaking, Sambo said “I was in the US when the Minister of Information, Alhaji Lai Muhammed sent me a text to confirm this Orashi River dredging and I forwarded the text to the Permanent Secretary who said there is nothing like that in the ministry.

“I know the Orashi River is an inland waterway and it falls under the National Inland Waterways Authority (NIWA) purview. So, if there is any planned dredging, NIWA must be aware of such.

“I have not been able to reach the NIWA MD, so I cannot talk further on this. As soon as I get the NIWA MD, I will make more details available to the media.

“Also, I have not been able to reach the Governor who is my friend to know whether it is the State government that intends to do the dredging.”

Governor Hope Uzodinma last week claimed that the Federal Government has approved the dredging of Orashi River to the Atlantic Sea to serve as the first seaport in the South East region.

Governor Uzodinma, disclosed that the approval followed the visit of President Muhammadu Buhari to the state to commission projects executed by his administration.

According to Uzodinma, the dredging of the river port will enable traders from the zone to import and receive their goods directly while enjoying a comparative advantage as well as promote and encourage the business spirit of the people of South East.

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