FG unveils navigational charts for lower River Niger
The Federal Government on Thursday unveiled navigational charts of the lower River Niger from Lokoja in Kogi State to Burutu in Delta State.
The unveiling ceremony, performed by the Minister of Transportation, Mu’azu Jaji Sambo, took place at the NAF Conference Center, Abuja.
The event was witnessed by the Secretary to the Government of the Federation, Boss Mustapha; Minister of Finance, Budget and National Planning, Zainab Ahmed; Permanent Secretary, Federal Ministry of Transportation, Magdalene Ajani; Chief of Naval Staff, Vice Admiral Awwal Gambo and the Director-General, Nigerian Maritime Administration and Safety Agency (NIMASA), Bashir Jamoh, among others.
The navigational charts cover 594 kilometres (321 nautical miles) with a total survey area of 1719.8 square kilometres.
Sambo said the project was in line with the statutory responsibilities and objectives of the Federal Ministry of Transportation. He said the project would boost the efforts of the President Muhammadu Buhari-led Federal Government towards the development and operation of an efficient and safe Inland waterways transportation network.
He said, “A well-developed and efficient Inland Water Transportation is necessary for an integrated and functional multi–modal transportation system, whose major pillar is dependent upon accurate and timely hydrographic surveys/charts.
“The objective of this Project is to provide direct maritime linkages within Nigeria and between African countries, thereby catalyzing Nigeria’s Gross Domestic Product (GDP) growth, attracting Foreign Direct Investments (FDI), creating highly needed jobs, and boosting internal as well as intra – African trade.”
The minister said that the US economy today is supported by revenues of over $70 billion from 600 million tons of cargo transported through its inland waterways, creating hundreds of thousands of jobs, building and growing agro-industrial communities along the waterway channels and thus spreading economic prosperity throughout the length and breadth of its waterways network.
“The USA’s waterways and multi-modal transportation network provide a competitive edge in global markets. No wonder, its corn and soybean farmers are the most efficient in the world,” he said.