Tuesday, December 7

Niger-Benue inland waterway port project to create 5,000 jobs NIWA

By: Awesome Ekene

The Nigerian Navy, National Inland Waterways Authority (NIWA) and Nigerian Export and import (NEXIM) Bank have begun the survey and charting for the lower River Niger and River Benue for enhanced waterway port to stimulate socio-commercial activities in the country.

Chairperson, Sealinks Consortium, one of the handlers of the project, Dabney Shell-Holma who disclosed this in Lokoja, said the project would open up the country’s inland waterways to 25 African countries and Europe in transportation and trade connectivity,

According to her, the project, covering 932,000 square kilometres, will provide jobs for more than 5,000 Nigerian youth.

“I am sure the British Government will be celebrating what we are doing here today and will say, Nigeria has finally woken up from sleep.

“It’s a fact that 25 countries within the sub-African region are crippled because of lack of waterways, thereby making maritime or shipping business very difficult.

“This is why I said Britain will celebrate this flag-off ceremony.

“For more than 10 years, we have been hoping to see this day and thanks be to God it’s happening for real at Ajaokuta, the best port for the waterways.

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“Sealinks Consortium is grateful to Afreximbank and NEXIM which have committed a 750,000 dollar-grant to Improve Nigeria’s inland waterways operations which when completed will reduce transportation challenges in Nigeria by 50 per cent and boost the nation’s economy, ” she said.

The Managing Director, National Inland Waterways Authority (NIWA), Chief Dr. George Muoghalu reiterated NIWA’s commitment to the successful execution of the project.

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