The Benue is a large river with many islands and sand bars. Dredging the river to improve navigability was part of the Late President Umaru Yar’adua’s seven point plan to enhance the Nigerian economy. The River Benue is part of 3,000km of navigable watercourses that provide the main access routes for agricultural products to the coast.
Beckett Rankine was appointed to advise on introducing improvements to the River Benue for better navigation. The work included carrying out mathematical modeling of the river, designing dredging and river training works to improve the navigational depth during the dry season.
The project covers 227km of river from Lokoja to Makurdi. Dredging will help develop all year navigability and reduce congestion at Lagos and Port Harcourt ports by providing cheaper and more reliable water transportation. Being 300km from the sea, this was an unusual project for Beckett Rankine.