Benin River Port critical to Nigeria’s economy, says Obaseki
Edo State Governor, Godwin Obaseki, has said the Benin River Port project is critical and strategic to Nigeria’s economy, noting that the state government is willing to partner with the Nigerian Maritime Administration and Safety Agency (NIMASA) to actualise the project.
Obaseki stated this when Director-General of NIMASA, Dr. Bashir Jamoh, and other members of the management team visited Obaseki at the Government House in Benin City.
He said: “Edo State ecology remains unique, with swamp, rain forest and savanna planes. “There is nothing we cannot grow here and with a port here, it will be a unique opportunity, as it will not be moving traffic one way.
“For us, agricultural activities will be further enhanced with the access to this port. The blue economy has always been critical to our growth as a people and I am glad to inform you that over the last four years, a lot of work has gone on with the project.”
Obaseki further explained that the project was important to the state, as long as government at all levels want to diversify the Nigerian economy.
He added: “We don’t have a choice or an option. The global economy will be driven by other factors outside crude oil or the fuel economy we are used to.
“We are siting this port that is perhaps Nigeria’s largest and richest onshore gas reserve. You can imagine that this energy exists to drive whatever amount of industrialisation we need.”
Jamoh stressed that with increasing awareness about alternative energy, countries were now seeking green options to fossil fuel, noting that the maritime sector possessed the potential to grow Nigeria’s revenue base.
He acknowledged that the Benin River Port project was a testament that Edo understood the benefits of shipping and expressed readiness to ensure the state explores the opportunities of the blue economy.
He noted that the NIMASA was ready to sponsor indigenes of the state to Greece on scholarship to study Maritime Science and other related disciplines.
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