Since the recent dredging campaigns on the Lower River Niger and the rapid increase in the demand for river sharp sand for civil construction projects, dredging issues have assumed an important position.  Other recent projects where dredging services will be needed include the UNEP remediation works in parts of Ogoniland affected by oil spills. Also, many state governments in the coastal and Niger Delta areas routinely embark on dredging projects and civil engineering works that require heavy sand mining operations to supply the needed construction materials. Thus, environmental issues, sand mining and harbor dredging constitute much of the dredging industry in Nigeria.


After the capital and maintenance dredging of the River Niger 10 years ago, a similar operation was planned for the River Benue, although paucity of funds and change of government affected the programme. As is widely known, the object is all-year round navigability of the major inland waterways in the country in the hope to improve inland waterways transportation.  Some of the defects in harnessing the marine resources of the country include the existence of sand shoals, groynes, rock outcrops and rapid siltation in our rivers. These require expensive capital and maintenance dredging treatments almost on a continual basis, a situation that is not feasible in view of governments dwindling income. How can these issues be addressed in the long-term? The answers are provided by our seminar paper presenters who are professionals and well-experienced.


In the same vein, sand mining from rivers, streams, natural and man-made lakes continue to supply the nation millions of cubic metres of sharp sand annually for road construction, real estate development, beach replenishment and even remediation of oil spills, etc.  What are the aggregate business opportunities in the sector and in what direction of growth is the industry headed? Participants at this Summit will gain insights on how to manage the economies of dredging and sand mining with the precautions for environmental best practices.



The imperatives for sound environmental practices in dredging and the oil and gas industry generally, will be captured from the perspectives of environmental impact assessments (EIA), which, if strictly adhered to, will save the country from the despoliation that gave rise to the Ogoni land spillages, for example.  Our experts on safety and the environment will handle these aspects of the seminars.

Moreover, this years Summit and Exhibition will offer delegates a peek into the ramifications of the governments attempt to streamline activities at the Eastern Ports through incentivization. This is a subject with which the NPA, NIMASA and other MDAs, such as the Nigerian Shippers Council, are now concerned and working to address the apparent disparity in patronage between the Lagos ports and the Eastern port zones. With crude oil earnings now forecast to be a downward trend, other promising sectors such as maritime trade must be optimized to contribute more of the national budgetary spend for the federal and state governments. Thus, a focus on the Eastern ports will be one of the major papers to be delivered at the event.

River and Harbour Dredging

River dredging to deepen shipping channels began in Nigeria in 1907 when the colonial authorities placed a dredger at the Lagos port access to the Atlantic Ocean for the removal of sand shoals.  The shoals had made entrance for big ships into the harbor difficult. As ships got bigger and drawing deeper draught, the need for more and rigorous dredging of both access channels, turning basins and berths became all the more compelling.  The more the river ports increased, especially after the Nigerian civil war,   harbor dredging programmes became larger.


With the addition of special navigational needs such as the very high and increasing throughput at the Lagos Ports Complex and exigencies of greater movements of gas carriers for the Nigerian Liquified Natural Gas at Bonny near Port Harcourt, the NPA has had to involve dredging management companies to oversee a dedicated channel dredging system for uninterrupted services.  Almost always, harbour dredging projects for the NPA are underway all over the coastal parts of the country all the year round.

Conversely, the first leg of the dredging of the Lower River Niger commenced in 2009 and gulped over N36 billion paid by the federal government via the National Inland Waterways Authority (NIWA) which manages inland water transport regulation. Six dredging companies and same number of consultants were engaged on the project which was declared completed in 2011.  The distance covered ranged from Warri via Forcados and the bifurcation at River Nun, and upriver to Onitsha, Ida, Lokoja and Baro, over 500km; river ports were projected to be constructed or refurbished at the last four locations.  By far, the campaigns along the inland waterways and harbor dredging form the bulk of public sector dredging projects in Nigeria today.

Sand mining
This is the quest for sharp sand or red earth, the former is dredged from rivers and lakes while the latter is mined from surface soils and forests.  More than 90% of all dredging activities take place in the Niger Delta and southwest Nigerian states. The need is mainly for filling materials and mortar for road and housing constructions.  Lagos enjoys the pride of place as the leading location for the highest use of sand, due to massive infrastructure projects, the housing boom in Ibeju-Lekki peninsula, Badagry and other fast-developing residential and industrial centres.  


The famous Eko Atlantic City, where South Energyxx of Holland and other high net-worth investors have reclaimed over 1.5km2  from the Atlantic Ocean at Bar Beach in a public-private initiative with the Lagos State Government is another ambitious reclamation project on the Nigerian horizon.  The reclamation required the dumping of about 95 million cubic metres of sand mined from the ocean.  The development of the Lekki and Badagry Deep Sea Ports and petroleum refinery projects by multinational collaborations and the Dangote Group, respectively, have added much pressure on the demand for sand. Consequently, in addition to the few multinational dredging firms operating in the country, there are more than one hundred reputable small-scale dredging firms engaged in the business of sand mining from water bodies all over the riverine areas of the country.  They also supply the market for road construction and housing developments.

Oil and Gas Sector and other sub-sectors
For all swamp operations of the international oil companies (IOCs), such as Shell, Mobil, Agip, etc, much dredging services are usually employed.  These are for well-head sweeping, canalization, channelization in rivers and small streams, and remediation in situations of oil spill, etc.  As of 2008, over 65% of Shells swamp activities required dredging services of various kinds. However, with the heightened disinvestment of SPDC in swamp operations in the wake of the Niger Delta crisis, the volume of dredging services complement to their activities may have reduced.  In view of the so-called mono-crop nature of Nigerias economy, this translates to a sensitive business which is handled by the dredging sector for the IOCs.



As usual, there will be opportunities for equipment makers and vendors, and other service providers to exhibit their wares at the Exhibition Gallery. Interested organizations should contact the organizers as soon as possible via email or telephone.  Another marketing avenue is the Summits Colour Brochure where adverts can be placed. This Brochure, distributed free of charge to all participants, holds useful information and contact details of participating companies, regulatory agencies and other service providers which could come in handy later.


1. Optimal Management of Host Community Relationships by Tony Enebeli?

2.  Safety and Environmental Standards for Industrial Hubs and Deep-Sea Ports by Dr. Hilary Efanga.

3.  The Requisites for Auditing Long-term and/or Large Volume Dredging Works by Ifeanyi Enebeli (CARES).

4. Precautions for Dredging Activities in the Niger Delta Region by Prof. Abam T. Kingdom.

5. Pre-dredge and post-dredge surveys and resolution of disputes about quantityby Surveyor Felix Osanebi.

6. Port Decongestion: Container Transfers by Barge and the New Railway Service in Lagos Port Complex by Dr. Chilaka.

7. The Newly Adopted International Standards for Dredging Equipment: How They Apply to Nigerian Operators by Engr. Nwachukwu, SON River State.

8. The Development and Management of New Ports in Nigeria: NPAs Statutory Roles and Activitiesby NPA Hydro Department.

9. Maritime Safety and Environmental Governance under the Deep Blue Project by NIMASA.

10. "The Rivers Port System, its cargo catchment in the new millennium" by Mr. Sam Epia.

11. "Reviving the Eastern Ports by incentivization, etc." by Mr. Sam Epia.

12. The Enlarged Statutory Mandates of the Nigerian Shippers Council: Implications for the Maritime and Dredging Industryby Nigerian Shippers Council.

13. The New Petroleum Industry Law and Implications for the Niger Delta by NNPC/ Dr. Hilary Efanga.

14. How the National Content Law Empowers Indigenous Operators and Community Relations in Nigerias Oil and Gas Economyby the NCDMB.

15. The Activities of the Ministry of Water Resources per Achievement of the UN SDGsby Federal Ministry of Water Resources.

16. Enhanced Mineral investigation Techniques and the National Quest to Turn the Solid Mineral Sector into a Gold Mineby Federal Ministry of Mines and Steel Development.

17. Maritime Training Profiles in an Import-Substitution Era: The Imperatives to Turn Seafaring to a Forex-Earning Industry in Nigeriaby Maritime Academy of Nigeria, Oron.

18. The Lower River Niger Dredging Project and Other Statutory Activities of NIWA to Enhance Inland Water Transportationby NIWA.

19. The Prospects of the East-West Road and Other Projects of the NDDC to Address Niger Delta Community Development Issuesby NDDC.

20. Dredging and Sand-Mining Activities in Delicate Coastal Environments: Challenges and Precautionsby Lagos State Ministry of Energy and Mineral Resources.

21. The Essential Rubrics for Managing Viable Dredging Ventures: Precautions for Bidding, Submitting Variations, Public Sector Projects and Sand Miningby Tony Enebeli, CBS Marine.

22. Remediation techniques in the Niger Delta areasby NODSRA.

23.  A paper from your organization. Please inform us early.



1. Huge exposure for participants.

2. Up to 10 or more staff of each participating organization can be accommodated to experience the interaction, exposure and training that comes with the event.

3. Staff morale is usually boosted by involving them in the event and they return more motivated and enlightened to deliver quality service and performance at their jobs.

4. Each participating organization will have the option of addressing the delegates on the various statutory mandates of their establishments and new developments and thus promote the implementation of government or company policies needed to achieve governmental budgetary or corporate aspirations. Companies get an opportunity to deploy promotional and marketing presentations.

5.  Board members of the participating agencies or organizations can attend.

6. Interaction with professionals in the dredging sector yields possible future collaboration between the public and the private sectors of the economy.

For Further Enquiries, please contact:




TELEPHONE: +234 1 7928166 OR 08033378735. EMAIL: dredgeskills@gmail.com

WEBSITE: www.ddhmag.com