• FG promises extensive rehabilitation of transport infrastructure

    Fg promises extensive rehabilitation of transport infrastructure - nigeria newspapers online
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    • Loses $1tn to non-disbursement of CVFF, say stakeholders 

    The Federal Government will spend about $1 billion to rehabilitate and modernise the nation’s six seaports.

    This is even as it assured that it would soon carry out an extensive rehabilitation and upgrade of road, rail, and waterway infrastructure nationwide.

    Speaking during the commissioning of the Funtua Inland Dry Port (FIDP), in Funtua Local Council of Katsina State, President Bola Tinubu said that the extensive rehabilitation is aimed at facilitating trade, reducing costs, and enhancing the ease of doing business.

    Represented by the Secretary to the Government of the Federation (SGF), George Akume, the President also said six inland dry ports would be sited in the geo-political zones with that of Funtua being the third to be completed and commissioned.

    He said that the FIDP would facilitate trade with landlocked nations like Chad, Niger, and Cameroon, as that traffic and gridlock at the nation’s seaports would be greatly reduced.

    Tinubu said: “The completion and commissioning of the Funtua Inland Dry Port represents yet another step forward for Nigeria’s economic development. This port, strategically located in Funtua, Katsina State, is the third to be completed and commissioned among the six legacy inland dry port projects spread across our nation’s six geo-political zones.

    “It is imperative to acknowledge the long anticipation from our hinterland business communities for such essential facilities. The FIDP holds immense potential to enhance the ease of conducting international business for interior-based shippers, both importers and exporters. In line with the renewed hope agenda of my administration, this development aligns with our commitment to diversify the economy towards non-oil exports.”

    MEANWHILE, maritime stakeholders have said that the country is losing $1 trillion yearly to the non-disbursement of the Cabotage Vessels Financing Fund (CVFF).

    They disclosed this, yesterday, in Lagos, at a maritime stakeholders group meeting with the new Director General of the Nigerian Maritime Administration and Safety Agency (NIMASA), Dr Dayo Mobereola.

    Giving a presentation, titled: ‘Marine and Blue Economy: Navigating to the Promised Land,” a maritime lawyer, Dr Emeka Akabogu, added that the country was losing $4 billion due to a lack of local marine transportation.

    He said: “There are three legs to shipping; fleet expansion, ship repairs, and shipbuilding. The country is losing $9 billion yearly to the non-participation in international freight services.” Akabogu added that the fishing sub-sector of the maritime industry contributes N282 billion yearly to the economy.

    “Nigeria’s coastal resources have an estimated capacity of $504 trillion. Current realised capacity is $106 trillion in export and import on frozen fish is $876 million,” he stated .

    Akabugo cited that information given by the former DG of NIMASA, Dr. Bashir Jamoh, who stated that Nigeria loses approximately, $25.5 billion yearly to illegal maritime activities, while Nigerian National Petroleum Company Limited (NNPCL) loses $1.35 billion on oil bunkering.

    Earlier, the Flag Officer Commanding Western Naval Command, Nigerian Navy, Rear Admiral Mustapha Hassan, said that a lot is required from the NIMASA management in the implementation of the Cabotage Act, which has not been effective since its enactment.

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