Journal of Contemporary Urbanology

Assessing River Transport Operations: The experience of Makurdi River Port, Benue State, Nigeria

Daniel Peverga Dam (Depmnnent of Geography Benue State University, Makurdi, Nigeria E-mail:


The study assesses river transport operations on River Benue at the River Port in Makurdi town, Benue State, with the objectives of identifying the service providers; waterways network operated type of boats in use, socio-economic benefits derived from it as well as problems encountered the data was collected through questionnaire and observation; and analyzed using descriptive statistic. The result of the study shows that water transport service Oil River Benue at Makurdi port is 100% offered by the private sector. The demographic characteristic of the operators reveals that 93% of them are males, 57% were between the ages of 26 years and above while 48% of the operators had secondary school education. The study identified a network of 17 routes patronized on the river at Makurdi.The dominant boat in use was motor boat with wooden body which accounted for 71% in the study area. The type of goods conveyed alongside passengers ranges from farm produce, manufactured goods to sand. gravel, firewood and fishes. The income earnings of the operators show that 36% earns on average N21, 000 and above monthly. The study further shows that 100% of the operators have their socio-economic status improved However. the study identified lack of trained personnel in boat maintenance/repair services, seasonal fluctuations of the river, low patronage of the river transport by the public, inadequate capital, sand deposit and insecurity due to inability of marine police to patrol along the waterways in the study area. Thi study recommends that government should intervene in water transport development as it is the case in Air and road transport by dredging the river, regularly clears the water hyacinth, and provide adequate security for passengers and goods along the waterways, subsidize the cost of boats as well as provide regular trainingfor the water transport operators.

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