Reps call for sustained dredging of River Niger

Lawan Hamidu, Abuja.

The House of Representatives has stressed the need for a policy framework to ensure regular dredging of River Niger for the socio-economic development of the country.

In a motion unanimously adopted by members, the House expressed concerns that no proper arrangements for continued and sustained dredging of the River could defeat the objectives of the project.

Presenting the bill before the House, Mr. Ahmed Abu, a member from Niger State, said” the dredging venture has ensured a navigable channel is open with sustainable waterborne transport in the country, which is comparatively less expensive and safer.”

The lawmakers urged government to provide for continued dredging to ensure that the navigable channels are kept open throughout.

The project completed in 2012 has improved the socio-economic activities in the  reverine communities of the eight affected states as well as improve marine transport in the areas.

The House, in another motion, resolved to probe an alleged plan by the electricity distribution companies, DISCOS, to hike power tariff by one hundred percent.

The lawmakers said the planned increase was illegal and an abuse of a court process, since a Federal High Court in Lagos had issued an injunction restraining NERC from any increase in tariff.

Mr. Aliyu Madaki, a member from Kano State in the motion, argued that “there had been epileptic and erratic power supply in the country, which has been on for a long time without a solution.”

The House also urged the government to urgently halt the said plan as it is not in the public interest.

House Leader, Femi Gbajabiamila said the sale of the power sector should be reviewed,  claiming that the DISCOS do not have the financial capacity and the technical know-how to handle the sector.