Chinazor Megbolu |
The Nigerian Navy has partnered with Nigerian Export-Import Bank (NEXIM) on inland waterways towards boosting international trade.
The two organisations on Thursday, signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) in a bid to open up the country’s inland waterways and help boost maritime movement of goods and services.
The MoU initiative, the partners said, is to enhance economic trade and movement of goods and services within Nigeria and across the West Africa region for a more wholesome economic and national development.
The Chief of Naval Staff (CNS), Vice Admiral Ibok -Ete Ibas, in Abuja disclosed that the signing of the MoU would remain indelible in his memory.
According to him; “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, today’s epoch 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 today to move to the next phase toward opening up the nation’s inland waterways.
“Today’s ceremony follows several months of tedious deliberations between the Nigerian Navy and the NIWA–NEXIM 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 also pointed out that the collaboration necessitated the drafting of an MoU to guide the engagement between the Service and NEXIM Bank in order to achieve 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.
“I am glad that after series of meetings and interactions, the Nigerian Navy and NEXIM Bank have been able to produce an MoU to formalise their partnership.
“I wish to reassure our partners of Nigerian Navy’s capacity to support the project to its fruition in order to enhance economic trade and movement of goods and Services both within Nigeria and across the West Africa region for a more wholesome economic and national development,” Ibas said.
He however stated that he was happy and grateful to all those who one way or the other contributed in making the MoU a reality.
Meanwhile the Managing Director, NEXIM Bank, Alhaji Abba Bello, noted that the country is blessed with good waterways and assured the bank would efficiently and quickly adhere to all the conditions of the partnership.
According to him; “today is a very auspicious day for us because it will contribute significantly to trade in Nigeria and economic development of the country”.
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