THE Managing Director of the National Inlands Waterways Authority, (NIWA) Dr. George Moghalu, the Managing Director has disclosed that the abandoned Lokoja Inland river port in Kogi State will cost federal government N4.112 billion when completed.
Works on the port has been dragging for the past eight years while that of Baro in Niger state have been completed and commissioner by President Muhammadu Buhari sometimes last year.
In an interactive session with journalists on Wednesday in Lokoja, Dr Moghalu said Federal Executive Council (FEC) had earlier in the year approved the Ministry of Transportation memo for N2 billion revised cost for the completion of the project.
The approval puts the total cost of the project at N6.4 from the reviewed N4.112 billion.
Moghalu noted that the federal government is committed to ensuring that the river port which is “critical to the Nigeria’s Waterways operation”, is completed and operational.
He said despite the cessation of works on the main project due to some bottlenecks, the Authority has been on site extending the fetching and other works.
The project was first awarded to Messers Foby Engineering Ltd at the cost of N2.3 billion in 2007 and a mobilisation fee of N800 million was paid.
But due to alleged inability of the contractor to perform, the contract was revoked, revised and subsequently re-awarded in the second quarter of 2012 to another company, Inter-Bau Construction Ltd, at the cost of N4.112 billion.
The administration of former President Goodluck Jonathan, who re-awarded the contract on March 23, 2012, gave 57 weeks as the expected period for the completion of the project but work stalled in 2016 due to irreconcilable differences between the federal government and the construction firm.
Moghalu said with the approval of the revised cost, works on the project will be accelerated and completed in record time.
He mentioned that Authority’s management has been interfacing with the contractor handling the project on the matter following the approval of the revised contract sum by the Federal Executive Council.