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Promoting Inland Waterways Trade: NEXIM partners NIWA, Sealink Coy

L-R: Chairperson, Sealink Implementation Committee, Mrs Dabney Shallholma,
the MD NIWA, Mr Olorunnimbe Mamora, and Mr. Abba Bello, the Managing Director of NEXIM

The Nigeria Export Import Bank (NEXIM Bank) says it is
taking further step to bridge infrastructure gap to promote trade connectivity
and spur Nigeria’s regional and global trade competitiveness.

Mr. Abba Bello, the Managing Director of NEXIM said this
in a statement by Miss Lohya Mamven, the bank’s Head of Media on Sunday in
Bello said this while signing a Memorandum of
Understanding between the bank, National Inland Waterways Authority (NIWA) and
Sealink Promotional Company Ltd. In Abuja.
According to him, the collaboration is a novel
public-private partnership framework that is primarily designed to attract
private sector investments under government agencies facilitation support at no
cost to government.
He said the MoU was a significant milestone that would
be catalytic to the realisation of one of the priority projects under the
ECOWAS Community Development Programmes.
Bello said that NEXIM’s strategic interest in the
Regional Sealink Project was to promote and diversify exports and enhance trade
connectivity in line with government’s objective to diversify the economy.
He said the bridging of maritime infrastructure gap
would significantly enhance exports of bulk solid minerals and the Gross
Domestic Product (GDP) contribution of both shipping and solid minerals
He restated that the effective implementation of the
Sealink project and the safe utilisation of the inland waterways would no doubt
bridge logistics gaps in the country.
Bello said that this would help attract and facilitate
investment flows for sectors and contribute to the realisation of one of the
broad strategic objectives of ERGP, “which is building a globally competitive
The NEXIM boss said that it would also contribute to
improving Nigeria’s current World Bank ease of doing business and Logistics
Performance Index (LPI) rankings.
value terms, it is projected that the signing of this MoU will promote waterway
operations for hinterland, transit and coastal trade, especially for bulk
is projected that this development will enhance non-oil exports annual revenue
receipts to between 500 million dollars and 1.2 billion dollars annually on
bulk solid minerals exports.’’
expressed appreciation to the various stakeholders for their collaborative
partnership and grant funding supports for the initiative.
believe with continued collaborative partnership and strong commitment, we
shall achieve the strategic objectives of this MoU to foster trade for the
general prosperity and development of Nigeria.
therefore look forward to the next collective steps toward attaining our common
goal to improve waterways operations and the commencement of commercial
operations of the Regional Sealink Project,’’ Bello added.

The Managing Director, NIWA, Mr Olorunnimbe Mamora,
said the authority would collaborate with the organisations to harness the
untapped waterways resources that would add to the nation’s GDP in no small
said:“ NIWA’s endorsement of this MoU is an eloquent testimony of the viability
of the Inland waterway transportation network in Nigeria.

This marks another major step in the journey to reverse the dependence of our
economy on oil and to open up the vast untapped opportunities that the inland
waterways can offer.

“The realisation of inland waterways transportation
will not only ensure safer roads but ensure the huge sums spent on road
maintenance is diverted to other areas of needs in the economy.’’
Chairperson, Sealink Implementation Committee, Mrs Dabney Shallholma, commended
the management of NEXIM and NIWA in its effort toward the Sealink project.
said NEXIM’s developmental, facilitative and supportive roles in the Sealink
Project were quite exemplary and typical of the roles of Export Credit Agencies
all over the world.
to her, the Sealink is a public-private-partnership initiative by NEXIM on the
prompting of the Organised Private Sector and NACCIMA / MAN Export Group.
“Sealink is fundamentally conceptualised and designed
to bridge maritime transport infrastructure gap, amongst ECOWAS and CEMAC
regions, as well as promote inland waterways operations towards facilitating
regional integration and bulk cargo trade.
“It is
also intended to facilitate reduction in logistics cost and the mitigating of
unnecessary transit arrangements on regional trade.
time has come for Nigeria to be bullish in its non-oil export trade to
diversify the economy.
“On the
part of Sealink, let me assure you all, that the Sealink Consortium will be a
key driver in both the national and the regional trade and logistics value
chain.” (NAN)

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