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FG plans to dredge the Rivers Niger and Benue



Rivers Niger and Benue

Minister of Water Resources and Sanitation, Prof. Joseph Utsev, at the weekend, disclosed that the Federal Government was planning to resume the dredging of Rivers Niger and Benue.

Utsev added that his ministry had put committees in motion to work on the modalities for the dredging of the two rivers.

Fielding questions from journalists in Ilorin, Kwara State, on the sidelines of the graduation ceremony from a youth empowerment scheme and distribution of items organized by the Lower Niger River Basin Authority, he said: “Dredging of Rivers Niger and Benue is what we are working on. We have put some committees in place.”

His words were,

  • “The committees will assess the feasibility of the dredging. After that, we will discuss it with President Bola Tinubu. At that point, we will then tell all Nigerians where we are on the dredging of the two rivers.”
  • He added that his ministry was working to ensure the provision of potable water, sanitation, and irrigation for Nigerians.

Importance of dredging the Rivers

On the benefits of dredging both Rivers, the Minister said,

  • “Water for irrigation will be used to provide food for the enhancement of food security and ultimately generate income and empowerment.
  • As you can see, some youths are being empowered today. Water is not only important; it is very necessary for the existence of living organisms.”
  • “Without water, there will be no life.”
  • “President Tinubu in his Renewed Hope agenda promises Nigerians to work on food security and revive Nigeria’s economy in addition to healthcare and security.”
  • “We at the ministry are working assiduously to see how we can provide potable water for drinking, sanitation, and irrigation,” he stressed.


Calls for the dredging of the River Niger and Benue are not new, and the federal government had made efforts towards dredging these two rivers to combat flooding, provide water for irrigation and encourage marine transport and other economic activities.

In 2017, the then Minister of Transport, Mr. Rotimi Amaechi announced the awarding of contracts for the dredging of critical parts of the river Benue. He also said dredging of Lower River Niger from Warri to Baro has begun.

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