The Nigeria Export-Import Bank says its efforts to improve regional trade and promote bulk movement of commodities through the Nigerian water ways has received a boost with the unveiling of navigational charts of the lower River Niger in Abuja.
The survey and charting, which was jointly undertaken by hydrographers of the Nigerian navy and Nigerian Inland Waterways Agency with financial support from NEXIM and Afreximbank, was meant to guarantee navigational safety of the lower River Niger channel to boost hinterland and coastal trade.
The Managing Director/Chief Executive of NEXIM Bank, Mr Abba Bello, in his remarks, said the Nigeria Export – Import Bank, being a trade policy bank, had embarked on the deliberate policy initiative “to bridge maritime infrastructure gaps towards lowering logistics cost to foster trade with the promotion of the Regional Sealink Project.
Also commenting, the President of Afreximbank, Prof. Benedict Oramah, who was represented by the Regional Manager, Mr. Remigius Nwachukwu, praised the efforts of NEXIM, the Nigerian Navy and NIWA for supporting regional trade in Africa and reiterated Afreximbank’s commitment to provide support to serious investors with bankable projects to take advantage of the emerging business opportunities in marine logistics sector.
The Minister of Finance, Budget and National Planning, Mrs Shamsuna Ahmed, who was represented by Mr. Mohammed Ali, Director, Home Finance, explained that the ministry had adopted the Regional Sealink Project as one of its ministerial mandates because of the need to support initiatives that will “promote and attract private sector investments in maritime logistics infrastructure”
While delivering a keynote address, the Minister of Transport, Alhaji Jaji Sambo, who was the Special Guest of Honour at the event, affirmed the Federal Ministry of Transportation’s commitment to the successful attainment of the overall objective of the project in line with the Federal Government’s vision for the holistic and sustainable development of the maritime sector and the Inland waterways.