The Nigerian Navy yesterday signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with the Nigerian Export-Import Bank (NEXIM), to open up the nation’s inland waterways as part of efforts to boost maritime movement of goods and services.
The aim of the MoU, according to the Nigerian Navy and NEXIM, is to enhance economic trade and movement of goods and services within the country and across the West Africa region for a more wholesome economic and national development Speaking during the ceremony yesterday at the Naval headquarters in Abuja, the Chief of Naval Staff (CNS), Vice Admiral Ibok -Ete Ibas, said the signing of the MoU would remain indelible in his memory.
He said, “Since it is the constitutional responsibility of the Nigerian Navy to coordinate all national hydrographic surveys, it is only natural for the Service to be part of this strategic partnership. Indeed, this signing ceremony will remain indelible in my memory as it marks a new phase in the attainment of Nigerian Navy’s statutory responsibilities regarding the charting and survey of the nation’s maritime areas.
‘‘Following the Nigerian Navy’s attainment of hydrographic survey and charting capacity with the unveiling of the first and second indigenous navigational charts, we are here to move to the next phase toward opening up the nation’s inland waterways. This ceremony follows several months of tedious deliberations between the Nigerian Navy and the NIWA–NEXIM Bank partnership for the survey of Nigeria’s inland waters ‘‘Since it is the constitutional responsibility of the Nigerian Navy to coordinate all national hydrographic surveys and produce charts for use by mariners within Nigerian waters, it was only natural for the Nigerian Navy to be part of this strategic partnership.”
Ibas said that the partnership necessitated the drafting of an MoU to guide the engagement between the Service and NEXIM Bank toward actualising the overall objectives of the Regional Sealink Project which the bank was driving. As you know, the Sealink Project was initiated to remove the huge logistics challenges and non-tariff measures along the Economic Community of West African states trade corridor.
The managing director of NEXIM Bank, Alhaji Abba Bello, noted that Nigerian is blessed with good waterways. He assured that NEXIM would efficiently and quickly adhere to all the conditions of the partnership.