Weeds and thick trees have taken over the multi-billion naira Baro Port inaugurated in 2019 by former President Muhammadu Buhari even as a surging river is gradually encroaching the banks towards the port’s building.
LEADERSHIP’s findings revealed that the port pavement and other engineering works commissioned in 2019 cost the federal government N3.5 billion, excluding the dredging work, at the time it was inaugurated
Further findings at the port showed that it was taken over by bushes because there has not been a single activity in the port since the day it was inaugurated even though the government promised immediate operation of the port during the inauguration.
An expert who worked at the site but prefers anonymity told LEADERSHIP that ” Baro inland Port was designed for land containers from Lagos via Lokoja to Baro with a lighter towing tugboat and barges by the River Niger, but as of today the commissioned Port is empty and bushes have taken over.”
He stated further that though the project was commissioned without the requisite equipment, the port would have been a workable project if there was an access road and rail line to the area.
The village Hhead of Baro, Alhaji Salihu Mohammed Ndanusa, also expressed concern over the poor state of the roads, saying that four years after the inauguration of the access roads that were supposed link the area to Katcha, Agaie, and Gulu to Abuja for the viability of the port remained in a deplorable state.
He said apart from the general state of the inaugurated port, the access road is the major challenge to the viability of the port which would have changed to a great extent the economic fortunes of the people and the country.
A youth leader of the community and one-time member, Niger State House of Assembly, Hon Jibrin Ndagi Akwanu said, “We were scammed. They commissioned it four years ago for political reasons during the campaign to win the election but after that they abandoned it.
“As you can see, this cannot work now because there is no access road, and even the rail lines installed have been pilfered, so, it is sad that after spending billions of naira the project is left to rot.”