NEXIM, Afreximbank release grant to improve Niger-Benue waterways
The Managing Director of Nigeria Export-Import Bank (NEXIM), Abubakar Abba Bello, has disclosed that his organisation and African Export-Import Bank (Afreximbank) have offered a grant of $750, 000 to support the surveying and charting of the main channel of the Niger and Benue River, to bridge the gap in maritime transport infrastructure.
Bello disclosed this at Ajaokuta port complex during the official flag-off of the survey and charting of lower Niger and Benue River, organised by Nigerian Navy in partnership with National Inland Waterways Authority (NIWA).
According to him, Afreximbank provided $350, 000 to supplement the $400, 000 issued by NEXIM for the financing of the barthymetric survey and hydrograhic and hydrological studies of the lower Niger and Benue Rivers.
He noted that the studies, which would be undertaken under a joint collaboration framework between the Nigerian Navy Hydrography Department, NIWA and Sealink Consortium Partners, would pave way for the country’s economic emancipation.
In his speech, the Chief of Naval Staff, Vice Admiral Awwal Gambo, pointed out that President Muhammadu Buhari’s effort at diversifying the nation’s economy can only be achieve, when stakeholders look inward to harness the opportunities that abound in waterways across the country.
“Nigerian Navy will continue to partner NIWA and NEXIM to survey and chart River Niger and Benue that will meet the international standard to improve river navigation to support the transportation of goods and services in Nigeria…” he said.