NEXIM Bank, Akewa Terminal to revamp Burutu Port for moving solid mineral

      

Mr. Hope Yongo
Plans are being concluded to overhaul the old Burutu Port in Delta State, and have it dedicated to movement of solid mineral.
Mr. Hope Yongo of the Nigerian Export-Import (NEXIM) Bank disclosed this recently at a stakeholders forum organised in Lagos by the Nigerian Maritime Administration and Safety Agency (NIMASA).

The stakeholders gathering, which had predominantly ship owners in attendance, focused on discussions of NIMASA five-year plan for the cessation of cabotage waivers for foreign operators in shipping operations in Nigeria.

Yongo said the NEXIM Bank in collaboration with Akewa Colmar Terminal (Private owners of the Burutu Port) on commencement of operations in the port, would be moving bulk cargoes that are in millions of tonnages.

He said: “Our interest for investing in this came from when some of our customers kept coming to us concerning their challenges in moving bulk cargo like iron ore, coal, limestone. And we noticed that the cargo were by the River Niger.

“We have been on this for about five years. But, in the last three years now, we have been trying to develop the inland waterways,” he said.

He also made known that arrangement with the National Inland Waterways Authority (NIWA) to deepen the inland waterways was near completion.

He words “Our partners and prospective users of the port are just waiting for the charting of the inland waterways so that barges can start moving. We are discussing with NIWA on that. We hope to conclude arrangement with NIWA by the end of this month.”

Speaking on the NEXIM collaborating with NIMASA and how it would boost intra-Africa trade, Yongo said the initiative would improve fleet development and improve maritime domain security to support easy movement of cargo.

The Bank hopes to attract foreign investments in ship-building as the discussions progress.

Earlier, in a paper titled ‘Ship Finance: Finding Funds for Maritime Projects,’ which Yongo presented on behalf of NEXIM Bank Managing director,  Mr. Abba Bello, Yongo highlighted issues in trade connectivity and of logistics challenge in intra-Africa trade.

He noted that people had been afraid to play in the trade space in Africa due to dwell-time.

He, however, said that NEXIM Bank is now playing developmental role and   promoting the sea-link road to help move cargo effectively.