In a recent development, the West African Ceramic Limited a leading manufacturer of tiles in Nigeria under the brand name ‘Royal’ in Ajaokuta has successfully moved goods (tiles) that are worth 22 trailers from Kogi to Onitsha River Port, Anambra state.
Mr Hassan Ilugbami, the Public Relations Officer of West African Ceramic Limited, disclosed that the company took advantage of the dredged channel of River Niger in conveying the tiles on a barge M.V Vega owned by the company using tugboat piloted by NIWA onboard crew with an escort from Inland Waterways police for adequate security.
On returning, the barge carried laterite a major raw material for the production of tiles that is worth 27 trailers back to Ajaokuta, Kogi state.
The company confirmed to NIWA that they will continue taking the advantage of the dredged channel from Ajaokuta to Onitsha which is 162KM in moving all her products because is cheaper and safer.
However, stakeholders commended NIWA for opening up Onitsha River Port, Anambra state and other eastern ports for business.
Emeka Ezeanyangwu, a businessman, said moving goods through the nation’s inland waterways is a welcome development and commendable, saying the development will reduce pressure on the major roads across the country.
“It is cheaper when we move goods via waterways and safer. I’m happy to NIWA has started facilitating the movement of goods through the waterways especially by opening up businesses across the eastern ports. This development will also reduce congestion and backlog in Lagos ports.
“Once importers are sure that the water is safe to transport goods as NIWA is now providing security for the movement of goods just as they secured the movement of goods from Kogi state to Onitsha port, they will start to patronise the eastern ports and this will open up employment opportunities around these ports and its communities,” he said.