Expert urges FG to develop more river ports

A maritime expert, Chief Kunle Folarin on Thursday urged the Federal Government to develop more river ports to open up the potential of the maritime sector.
Folarin, who is the Chairman, Port Consultative Council (PCC), made the plea in an interview in Lagos.
He said the river ports would create more business opportunities as well as helped to decongest the existing seaports.
Inland ports or river ports are ports that are located on rivers and do not handle deep draft ship traffic
Folarin gave an assurance that many maritime businesses would also spring up along the coastal areas where the rivers ports would be developed.
``Development of more river ports to support inland waterways is still on the drawing board, but it is important to take it up now.
``The inauguration of ICDs (Inland Container Depots) to free the ports of congestion and open up cargo delivery inland is also very important for immediate attention.
``We have a lot of maritime potential here and there which we are looking forward to; though they didn’t happen in 2014, hopefully, they will come up in 2015, ” he said.
Folarin also commended efforts made by the Nigerian Maritime Administration and Safety Agency (NIMASA) in training seafarers.
He said it was also important to train more people in marine insurance and nautical surveying.
``NIMASA is doing its best to ensure that manpower development as far as seafaring is concerned, is developed.
``It (NIMASA) has also contributed in building a few maritime schools and of course, proposed a university; and assisting some of the existing universities in developing maritime-related courses and departments.
``We, however, have to start looking at the overall needs in terms of manpower.
``We need to develop people to have the capacity as nautical surveyors and others to handle marine insurance properly, ‘’ he said.