By; BALA B. BITRUS, Minna.
Agwara Council Area of Niger State has reconstructed a ferry donated to it earlier by the state government at the cost of N10 million to serve the water transportation needs of the riverine communities of the council and adjoining coastal areas of Zamare and elsewhere in neighbouring Kebbi state.
The reconstruction of the water vessel has been completed ahead of the onset of the next raining season and the water vessel is expected to be handy for the coastal communities in Agwara, Roffia, Wawa and other riverine communities who are usually cut off from the rest of their neighbours especially during the rains when the water levels in the water bodies have swelled with the attendant risk in using rickety, old boats by rural operators on the big rivers.
Incidences of boat mishaps along the Agwara waterways have been a perennial occurances most times with huge death toll and economic losses.
Chairman of the Agwara council area, Jafaru Mohammed Agwara commended the state government for footing the cost of the project. He said the water vessel is big enough to carry twenty vehicles at a time plus other passengers and their goods.
He said the Ferry boat would save such mishaps associated with the manually paddled wooden canoes and boats that are in use in the local government council.
Jafaru Mohammed Agwara noted that locals in the villages bordering the coastal communities on the tributaries of the River Niger would now be safed from using such local boats and canoes for the transportation of their farm produce and other commutter services.
The state government had last year donated a serviceable Ferry to the council area and asked the authorities in the council to overhaul the water vessel and put it to use.
The council Chairman engaged the services of water vessel constructors who upgraded the capacity of the vessel by fixing heavier and bigger horse power engines and panels on the vessel to increase it’s haulage capacities, strength and speed.