• Wednesday, April 17, 2024
businessday logo

BusinessDay

Nigeria targets more revenue, new jobs from inland water transport

Sambo calls for full implementation of CTN to enhance cargo security

The Federal Government said is perfecting plans to borrow a leaf from the United States of America (USA) to generate billions of dollars worth of revenue from transporting passengers and cargo using the inland waterway.

Mu’azu Jaji Sambo, the minister of transportation, who disclosed this recently in Abuja during the unveiling of the Navigational Charts of the Lower River Niger from Lokoja in Kogi State to Burutu in Delta State, said the US economy today is supported by revenues of over $70 billion from 600 million tons of cargo transported through its inland waterways.

According to him, the inland water also enables the US to create hundreds of thousands of jobs and grow the agro-industrial communities along the waterway channels.

He said USA’s waterway and multi-modal transportation network provide a competitive edge in the global market, which is why its corn and soybean farmers are the most efficient in the world.

On the navigational charts, he said, it covers 594 km equaling 321 nautical miles with a total survey area of 1719.8 square kilometres.

Read also: NIWA urges operators to ride on technology to drive water transport

The Minister said the project would boost the development and operation of an efficient and safe inland water transport network.

He said the objective is to provide direct maritime linkages within the country, and between Nigeria and African countries in order to catalyse Nigeria’s Gross Domestic Product (GDP) growth, attract Foreign Direct Investments (FDI), create jobs, and boost internal as well as intra-African trade.

“Well-developed and efficient inland water transportation is necessary for an integrated and functional multimodal transportation system, whose major pillar is dependent on accurate and timely hydrographic surveys/charts,” Sambo said.

Sambo said Nigeria is blessed with an 800 km coastline and over 10,000 km of inland waterways that position the country as a maritime power that can be one of the prosperous places on the earth.

He commended the Sealink Promotional Company Limited, the NEXIM, and African Export-Import Bank for funding the project, the Nigerian Navy, and the National Inland Waterways Authority (NIWA) for jointly conducting the survey exercise.