… says Kano-Niger Republic Rail line waste of resources
A Chieftain of the All Progressives Congress (APC) in Niger State, Comrade Jonathan Vatsa has accused the Minister of Transport, Rotimi Amaechi of frustrating the formal take – off of the Baro Inland Port, Niger State.
Vatsa, a former publicity secretary of the party in the state, told journalists that “the N5.8billion contract for the Baro Inland Port, was awarded by former President Goodluck Jonathan in 2012 and was purportedly commissioned by President Muhammadu Buhari in 2019.
It would be recalled that, President Buhari, during the inauguration of the Port, expressed deep personal attachment to the project when he said: “I (Buhari) assisted in the design of the complex during my time as chairman of the defunct Petroleum Trust Fund (PTF)”.
Vatsa, then the commissioner for Information, Culture and Tourism, said: “two years after the commissioning, the Port is yet to take off. I believe that the non – take – off of the Port was the handiwork of the Minister of Transport who has frustrated every effort towards the realization of this important project”.
Accordingly, Vatsa said on Saturday, that Amaechi’s recent submission is a clear indication that “the Minister did not believe in the project and therefore will not allow it to see the light of the day”.
It should be noted that, the former Governor of Rivers State, Ameachi in a recent interview, apparently alluded to the fact that the operationalization of Baro inland Port and others, were not realisable. Vatsa, also the Co – coordinator to Niger State Governor, Abubakar Sani Bello on Public Affairs, pointed out that “the position of the Minister came as a shock to all well-meaning people of the state who have been excited with the idea of having an inland Port as it used to be in the past.
“Baro Port has a very historic record as one of the meeting pots of economic activities in the North. The port boasts of a quay length of 150 meters, cargo stacking yard of 7,000 square meters.
It also has a transit shed of 3,600 square meters and an estimated capacity of 5,000 TEU at a time. “The Baro port is equipped with facilities such as water hydrant system, water treatment plant, three forklifts of various tonnages. It is powered by a 100 KVA generating set.
The port is expected to provide 2,000 direct and 2,500 indirect jobs. Vatsa expressed regret that while the Minister did not see anything good about the Baro Inland Port, with its huge economic benefits, the Federal Government is wasting the country’s resources at this critical time of the nation’s history to construct a rail line from Kano to Niger Republic with little or no economic benefits.
Fuming, Vatsa asked, “if the Minister feels the Baro Inland Port is not realizable, what makes him think that the Kano – Niger rail line with no economic benefit to the country is realizable?.
“It is now clear that the so-called commissioning of the Port in 2019 before the general elections was politically motivated just to deceive the people of the State; if not, how come that two years after, nothing has happened, the Port has failed to take off”.