The Federal Government has reinvigorated its efforts at reactivating the nation’s inland waterways transportation to aid trading activities and boost the economy.
The Secretary to the Government of the Federation (SGF), Mr. Boss Mustapha, disclosed this at the unveiling of the Navigational Charts of the River Niger in Abuja, saying that there was a need to really get back the mode of transportation on the inland waterways, so as to rekindle the trading activities that used to exist along the rivers Niger and Benue.
He commended the Nigerian Navy for providing the resources, persons, and platforms for the conduct of the chatting of the River Niger.
He also commended the Ministry of Transportation through National Inland Waterways Authority (NIWA) and other stakeholders for the professionalism they had exhibited.
He said that the successful execution of the project locally had saved the country huge foreign exchange, adding that foreign firms did all the charts in the past.
“It is important that we realize that whichever government takes over from President Muhammad Buhari, must continue the trajectory of creating an intermodal transport system for this country.
The Minister of Transformation, Mr. Mu’azu Sambo, said that the navigational chart was a project that could potentially change the very dynamics of prosperity for the country.
Sambo said that the project was in tandem with the statutory responsibilities and objectives of the Ministry of Transportation to boost the efforts of Buhari’s government.
He said that well-developed and efficient inland water transportation was necessary for an integrated and functional multimodal transportation system whose major pillar was dependent upon accurate and timely hydrographic studies and charts.
According to him, the objective of the project was to provide direct maritime linkages within Nigeria and between African countries.
The minister said that Nigeria was blessed with an 800-kilometer coastline and over 10,000 kilometers of inland waterways that potentially confirms it with such maritime power.
The Managing Director of NIWA, Dr. George Moghalu, said that the chart covered a total distance of 594km (321 Nautical Miles) with a total survey area of 1719.8 Square Kilometres.
Source: The Guardian