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Baro Port Dormant, 8 Months After Commissioning - Politics - Nairaland

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Baro Port Dormant, 8 Months After Commissioning by TundeBricklayer: 7:23am On Sep 09
The Baro Inland Port in Agaie Local Government Area of Niger State is yet to commence operation eight months after its commissioning by President Muhammadu Buhari, investigation by Daily Trust has shown.

The Baro port project cost was put at N5.8 billion and was awarded to a Chinese firm CGCC Project Limited in 2011/12. However, non-release of fund had stalled its completion, leading to its abandonment before the Buhari administration forged ahead to deliver it.

The port boasts of a quay length of 150 meters, cargo stacking yard of 7,000 square meters, a transit shed of 3, 600 square meters and an estimated capacity of 5,000 TEU at a time.

The port which is expected to provide 2,000 direct and 2,500 indirect jobs is equipped with facilities such as water hydrant system, water treatment plant, three forklifts of various tonnages and powered by a 100 KVA generating set.

President Buhari had, during the inauguration of the port in January, expressed deep personal attachment to the project because, according to him, he assisted in the design of its complex during his time as chairman of the defunct Petroleum Special Task Force (PTF).

He said the project will enhance intermodal transportation connectivity in Nigeria, reduce pressure of big trucks on the country’s roads, create huge economic opportunities for Nigerians and help in decongesting similar ports. Dashed hopes? But a visit by Daily Trust to the facility showed that it has been lying dormant. Residents said no single cargo has been lifted nor any vessel berthed since the ceremony unveiling it for business activities in January this year.

“The initiative raised our hope of the revival of economic activities we witnessed when the colonialists established the port up to the early 70s but our expectation is dimming by the day because since the commissioning of the place, no activities has taken place there,” Captain Hassan Mohammed (rtd), an indigene of the community, said. Hassan, also known as Captain Baro, is a member of the committee set up by the host state to interface with relevant federal government agencies to ensure the actualization of the project.

He also confirmed that no vessel had berthed at the port within the last eight months. “Why will ships berth when the apparatus that will make the port functional are not in place?” he queried.

Our correspondent noticed that key government officials that would have driven the ports activities were not on ground. “There are no top officials on ground neither are there key officials of federal government such as Customs and Immigration who are key to the operations of the port”, one of the security guards said.

Deplorable access roads It was gathered that the main constraint stalling activities at the port is accessing the facility as the two transport network – road and railway – that should serve as catalysts to its operation are in bad shape.

Daily Trust reports that there are two major access roads to the ancient community: the 55 kilometres Baro/Katcha/Agaie and Baro/Muye linking Gegu on Abuja/Lokoja expressway, both of which are in deplorable condition.

The federal government awarded the contract for the Baro/Katcha/Agaie axis in 2009 but revoked it in 2012 due to alleged failure on the part of the contractor to deliver on time, Daily Trust learnt.

However, the contract for the road was rewarded few months to the 2015 general elections to an Indian firm at the cost of N17.5 billion with a 12-month completion period. During the flag off for the road construction in March 2015, the then Minister of Works, Arch. Mike Onolememen, said it was among those the federal government planned to experiment with “rigid pavement” because it is the gateway linking Baro inland port to other parts of the country.

The contractor returned to site after an initial release of fund by the Buhari administration but the progress has been slow due to failure to advance additional fund for the project. So far only 10 kilometres of the road from the Agaie section has been asphalted but the entire section up to Katcha was graded. The terrain between Katcha and Baro is a nightmare especially as the rain intensifies.

Rain water forms ponds where deep gully exists, making it difficult for motorists to navigate, while the bridges constructed during the colonial era across streams are beginning to give way as a result of age. The Baro/Muye/Gegu section of the road, which links the port to the southern part of the country, is equally in a deplorable condition. The state of the road, it was learnt, contributed to late installation of the cargo handling equipment at the port. The National Inland Waterways Authority (NIWA) and the company, which handled the cargo equipment, First Index Nigeria Limited had raised the alarm in late December, 2018 when the truck bearing the consignment got stuck midway on its way to the port. NIWA, it was learnt, had to carry out minor repairs in order to make sure that the contractor delivered and installed the equipment ahead of the port’s commissioning in January. Apart from the road network, the rail network, a standard gauge line, put in place by the colonialists to aide movement of goods to the hinterland has become relics.

“There used to be a railway network which linked Baro to Minna established around 1911 but it became moribund in early 70s despite its centrality in the transportation framework of the country,” the village head of Baro, Alhaji Shaba Woshin said. Minister of Transportation, Rotimi Amaechi, during the commissioning of the port in January, promised that the rail network would also bounce back. “Baro is going to be part of our greater central line which will come from Abuja through Baro to join Itakpe all the way to Warrior,” he said. Beyond the rail and road infrastructure, there were also concerns and doubts over the dredging carried out by the federal government subsequent to the construction of the port and the scope of the project. Experts said with draught of between 2.5 and 30 meters, inland waterways cannot accommodate big vessels that move on minimum draft of 8.5 meters.

“If anybody tells you that big vessels could berth in Baro or any other inland port, that person is just playing politics with the issue. “Mother vessels that are designed for a draught of between 8.5 and 10.5 meters ferry goods into the country and thereafter transfer same into barges, which in turn trans-load to smaller boats to inland ports,” a marine engineer, Abdullahi Maikujeri said. Our correspondent learnt that the depth of the Niger River is currently below the 2.5 meters minimum draught required for navigation due to high rate of siltation. Maikujeri said that the dredging supposedly carried out earlier was not an expensive one that would allow for all-season navigation. He said even with the expensive dredging, there is need for constant maintenance dredging to sustain the draught. But checks reveal that about eight years after the supposed dredging, no maintenance dredging has been done at the Baro port.

“After the initial dredging, there is supposed to be maintenance dredging every two years but we have not seen anybody coming to carry out maintenance dredging since the last exercise about eight years ago,” Captain Hassan said. Daily Trust learnt that the area was already highly silted before the wet season set in and is very difficult to navigate. The siltation of the Niger was said to have been compounded by the construction of the Jebba, Kainji and Shiroro dams, as a result of which some areas on the Niger are clogged up with habitable islands along the routes. It was learnt that the impact of the silt is more felt between December and March following cessation of rain, making navigation difficult. Daily Trust learnt that President Muhammadu Buhari, the Minister of Transportation, Rotimi Amaechi and important personalities had to fly into Baro during the commissioning of the port in January by chopper. Another hindrance to the effective operation of the port facilities is the absence of power in the entire town.

Baro is not connected to electricity and experts say the port management cannot depend on the 100KVA generator on ground to power all the equipment at the port. They fear that like the Onitsha River port which was commissioned two times and still left dormant, Baro port may just be another electioneering instrument in the hands of politicians. NIWA reacts Contacted, NIWA’s General Manager, Public Affairs, Tayo Fadile, said the major constraint against the operation of Baro Port long after it was inaugurated was lack of access road. He said the port is fully set for operation but for the lack of access road, which he said, was not within the purview of NIWA to handle. “We have appealed to the Federal Ministry of Works and they said they are still considering it. The issue now has nothing to do with NIWA per se. The ball is now in the court of the Federal Government.

Source: https://www.dailytrust.com.ng/8-months-after-commissioning-multi-billion-naira-baro-port-dormant.html

2 Likes 3 Shares

Re: Baro Port Dormant, 8 Months After Commissioning by faithfull18(f): 7:25am On Sep 09
Nothing new.

13 Likes

Re: Baro Port Dormant, 8 Months After Commissioning by Awol1(m): 7:36am On Sep 09
Something I did for election na him una wan complain.

Go and use it

106 Likes 8 Shares

Re: Baro Port Dormant, 8 Months After Commissioning by TundeBricklayer: 7:42am On Sep 09
This was the port they claimed it was handling cargoes during election, circulating fake pictures of busy port with cargo barges claiming to be Baro port, I told them there's no way Baro port will function without Onitsha port, the cargo barge go through Onitsha water ways, construction of second niger bridge is on, until they are done with the project.

94 Likes 4 Shares

Re: Baro Port Dormant, 8 Months After Commissioning by Larryfest(m): 7:45am On Sep 09
If you ask uncle Lia Mohammed now him go talk say na PDP cause am..

56 Likes 5 Shares

Re: Baro Port Dormant, 8 Months After Commissioning by aolawale025: 7:54am On Sep 09
How can you neglect warri, PH and calabar ports and expect inland port to be active? When the bulk importers are from the SE?

111 Likes 5 Shares

Re: Baro Port Dormant, 8 Months After Commissioning by pwansunriseteam: 7:55am On Sep 09
Nigeria and project abandonment culture
Waste of scarce resources
Nawa for this Country

8 Likes

Re: Baro Port Dormant, 8 Months After Commissioning by Obere4u: 9:20am On Sep 09
How do expect Onitsha port to be active when the bridge being constructed isn't completed?
Re: Baro Port Dormant, 8 Months After Commissioning by Uchek(m): 10:29am On Sep 09
Please ask them again.
aolawale025:
How can you neglect warri, PH and calabar ports and expect inland port to be active? When the bulk importers are from the SE?

41 Likes

Re: Baro Port Dormant, 8 Months After Commissioning by superior1: 9:52am On Sep 10
Bubu don collect percentage nah

7 Likes

Re: Baro Port Dormant, 8 Months After Commissioning by exquisitehair(f): 9:52am On Sep 10
Wonderful
Re: Baro Port Dormant, 8 Months After Commissioning by helinues: 9:53am On Sep 10
Just 8 months??

Then the idea of building it is not from FG but some looters under this government.

Billions almost wasted like that..

3 Likes 1 Share

Re: Baro Port Dormant, 8 Months After Commissioning by Lexusgs430: 9:53am On Sep 10
Nah today....... We have a cursed political class......

3 Likes

Re: Baro Port Dormant, 8 Months After Commissioning by shaggy007: 9:53am On Sep 10
Awol1:
Something I did for election na him una wan complain.

Go and use it

I dey tell you

grin

18 Likes

Re: Baro Port Dormant, 8 Months After Commissioning by TroubleMaker47(m): 9:54am On Sep 10
This inland port has never really made sense to me

5 Likes

Re: Baro Port Dormant, 8 Months After Commissioning by freethinker01(m): 9:54am On Sep 10
You don't need any soothsayer to tell you this government has been a complete sham and scam since they assumed office.

In Buhari's voice

27 Likes 1 Share

Re: Baro Port Dormant, 8 Months After Commissioning by whytediamond(m): 9:56am On Sep 10
C
Re: Baro Port Dormant, 8 Months After Commissioning by PotatoSalad(m): 9:57am On Sep 10
In my next life, I'd rather be a cactus than be born in Africa

14 Likes 3 Shares

Re: Baro Port Dormant, 8 Months After Commissioning by ThePointMan(m): 9:58am On Sep 10
helinues:
Just 8 months??

Then the idea of building it is not from FG but some looters under this government.

Billions almost wasted like that..

What's the difference between the two?

14 Likes 1 Share

Re: Baro Port Dormant, 8 Months After Commissioning by Realdeals(m): 9:58am On Sep 10
That is what happens when government priortize physical infrastructure over human capital development, they forgot it's only empowered people that will run developed infrastructure.
This is the reason why most infrastructure lays in ruins years after their development. It is people that develop infrastructure and not the other way round.

18 Likes 4 Shares

Re: Baro Port Dormant, 8 Months After Commissioning by mmorah6: 9:58am On Sep 10
port wey bokoharam go used bring bomb from niger and chad abi?

2 Likes

Re: Baro Port Dormant, 8 Months After Commissioning by Kendumazy(m): 9:59am On Sep 10
Hmmmm. It's well!

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Re: Baro Port Dormant, 8 Months After Commissioning by Nwaohafia1(f): 10:00am On Sep 10
Buhari Abba Kyari's led government has not direction.

3 Likes 1 Share

Re: Baro Port Dormant, 8 Months After Commissioning by OgboAto: 10:01am On Sep 10
TundeBricklayer:
This was the port they claimed it was handling cargoes during election, circulating fake pictures of busy port with cargo barges claiming to be Baro port, I told them there's no way Baro port will function without Onitsha port, the cargo barge most go through Onitsha water way, constructed of second niger bridge is on, until they are done with the project.


Omo yi!bo spotted. Typed as pronounced.

On the side, you did have a point entirely.

2 Likes

Re: Baro Port Dormant, 8 Months After Commissioning by helinues: 10:01am On Sep 10
ThePointMan:


What's the difference between the two?

The MD's , board of directors
Re: Baro Port Dormant, 8 Months After Commissioning by majamajic(m): 10:04am On Sep 10
...... just like Oshodi and Ikeja bus terminals that he commissioned

none is working yet after over a year.

13 Likes

Re: Baro Port Dormant, 8 Months After Commissioning by JimohMomoh: 10:05am On Sep 10
Nigeria and waste, that 100kva generator will guzzle not less than one drum of diesel daily, where will they get the funds to run it continously for a year. That port will be dormant until electricity is fixed in this country.

When they lied that Warri port was working, bmc crew of Simplyleo, Mannabbqgrills and co were singing praises to their N30k payer.

Buhari should resign as Petroleum minister and take over ministry of power.

25 Likes 2 Shares

Re: Baro Port Dormant, 8 Months After Commissioning by Bonidace(m): 10:06am On Sep 10
What are they waiting for?

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