Akewa Global Services, AGS, concessionaires of the Burutu Port, is currently in talks with government to make the port a destination for the export of mining and agricultural products.
Chairman of the indigenous company, Kenneth Donye said the company has gotten provisional approval from National Inland Waterways Authority, NIWA and the Nigerian Ports Authority, NPA to operate Burutu as a port of destination.
He expressed confidence that the firm will get the nod from the Federal Government before the first half of the year.
Donye said that the major challenge for effective take off would be shallow nature of the channel leading to the port. Though there are possibilities of dredging the port channel on a Public, Private Partnership, PPP, adding that they are yet to put pen on paper.
According to Donye, “We are talking to NIWA and NPA to designate the port to be a mining port, so that the mining product and the agricultural produce can pass through the port for export.
“We are working at making the port the port of destination for mining activities. A place where all the solid mineral products and agricultural produce are brought in through the River Niger from Lokoja, through Baro port to Onistha port, the original root.
“This is what we are driving at because of the peculiarity of the place, nothing has been done, but that is what the Nigerian Shippers Council and Nigerian Export-Import, NEXIM, Bank and others stakeholders are working at.”
“It is not by applying, it is by coming together to agree on a particular plan to start to dredge on Public, Private, Partnership, PPP through a consortium of companies, and government parastatals, create a model of dredging and continuous sweeping of the River Niger so that any individual that has a barge can use the river to transport goods to the market, everyone that has goods to be transported to the nearest community could also use that channel so that government do not have to spend money for such things.”