• Benin River Port to ease Apapa congestion -Says Governor Obaseki
(By Udeme Clement):
The Director General, Nigerian Maritime Administration and Safety Agency, NIMASA, Dr. Bashir Jamoh, has restated the Agency’s commitment to human capacity development as the basic catalyst to grow the maritime sector in Nigeria.
Dr. Jamoh made this known in Benin City, when he led a team from NIMASA on a courtesy visit to Governor Godwin Obaseki of Edo State, in the government house.
The NIMASA DG acknowledged that Benin River Port project is a testament that Edo understands the benefits of shipping and expressed readiness to ensure the state explores the opportunities of blue economy.
He stressed that the Agency is ready to sponsor indigenes of the State who are below 25 years of age to Greece on fully-funded scholarship to study Maritime related courses. The NIMASA DG stressed that human and infrastructure capacity development are important to the growth of the maritime industry.
He said; “The Agency’s drive to develop blue economy in partnership with littoral States in the country aims at achieving a diversified economy for the country.
“Shipping is the alternative to oil.
The shipping sector in Nigeria can produce three quarter of the nation’s earnings from oil sector.
To achieve this, we at NIMASA are engaging the littoral States in Nigeria to develop strategies that would lead to maximising the potentials of the sector within the next ten years, when countries are targeting to end the use of fossil fuel”.
Dr Jamoh, commended the Edo State Government on the Benin River Port project, which he said, would be a revenue booster for the State. He identified Kano, Plateau and Gombe as States with huge investments in Inland Dry Port development, despite not being littoral States.
In his remarks, the Edo State Governor said Benin River Port project is critical and strategic to Nigeria’s economy, noting that the State Government is willing to partner with NIMASA, to bring the project to reality.
According to him, “Edo State is very unique in its ecology. Edo State is a nexus for Nigeria, hence the strategic role the Benin River port would play in transportation of goods to other parts of the country. You can connect the East and West from Edo within two hours. So, that means in six hours goods from Apapa in Lagos will be everywhere in the country.”
He went on; “We are locating this port in a place that is perhaps Nigeria’s largest and richest onshore gas reserve. You can imagine that this energy exists to drive whatever amount of industrialisation that needs to be.”
While commending NIMASA’s Management for the blue economy initiative, Governor Obaseki stated that the economy of Nigeria must be diversified.