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NEXIM Bank, Akewa Terminal to revamp Burutu Port for moving solid mineral

Mr. Hope Yongo

Plans are being concluded to overhaul the
old Burutu Port in Delta State, and have it dedicated to movement of solid

Mr. Hope Yongo of the Nigerian
Export-Import (NEXIM) Bank disclosed this recently at a stakeholders forum
organised in Lagos by the Nigerian Maritime Administration and Safety Agency

The stakeholders gathering, which had
predominantly ship owners in attendance, focused on discussions of NIMASA
five-year plan for the cessation of cabotage waivers for foreign operators in shipping
operations in Nigeria.

Yongo said the NEXIM Bank in collaboration
with Akewa Colmar Terminal (Private owners of the Burutu Port) on commencement
of operations in the port, would be moving bulk cargoes that are in millions of

He said: “Our interest for investing in
this came from when some of our customers kept coming to us concerning their
challenges in moving bulk cargo like iron ore, coal, limestone. And we noticed
that the cargo were by the River Niger.

“We have been on this for about five years.
But, in the last three years now, we have been trying to develop the inland
waterways,” he said.

He also made known that arrangement with
the National Inland Waterways Authority (NIWA) to deepen the inland waterways
was near completion.

He words “Our partners and prospective
users of the port are just waiting for the charting of the inland waterways so
that barges can start moving. We are discussing with NIWA on that. We hope to
conclude arrangement with NIWA by the end of this month.”

Speaking on the NEXIM collaborating with NIMASA
and how it would boost intra-Africa trade, Yongo said the initiative would
improve fleet development and improve maritime domain security to support easy movement
of cargo.

The Bank hopes to attract foreign
investments in ship-building as the discussions progress.

Earlier, in a paper titled ‘Ship Finance: Finding Funds
for Maritime Projects,’ which Yongo presented on behalf of NEXIM Bank Managing
director,  Mr. Abba Bello, Yongo
highlighted issues in trade connectivity and of logistics challenge in intra-Africa
He noted that people had been afraid to play in the
trade space in Africa due to dwell-time.
He, however, said that NEXIM Bank is now playing developmental
role and   promoting the sea-link road to help move cargo

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