The Nigerian Navy and the Nigerian Export-Import Bank (NEXIM) on Thursday signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) which is aimed at actualizing the objectives of a Regional Sealink Project that seeks to open up Nigeria’s Inland Waterways for local and international trade.
The Chief of Naval Staff, Vice Admiral Ibok Ete-Ekwe Ibas signed for the Nigerian Navy while the Managing Director of NEXIM Bank, Alhaji Abba Bello signed on behalf of the bank.
Speaking at the occasion, Vice Admiral Ibas said, “Today’s ceremony follows several months of tedious deliberations between the Nigerian Navy and the Nigerian Inland Waterways (NIWA) and NEXIM Bank partnership for the survey of Nigeria’s inland waters.
The CNS said this is as a result of the Nigerian Navy’s attainment of Hydrographic survey and charting capacity with the unveiling of the first and second indigenous navigational charts.
“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.
He continued, “This partnership necessitated the drafting of a MoU to guide the engagement between the Nigerian Navy and NEXIM Bank towards actualizing the overall objectives of the Regional Sealink Project, which NEXIM Bank is 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 formalize this partnership”.
The CNS re-assured all partners in the venture of Nigerian Navy’s capacity to support the project to its fruition in order to enhance economic trade and movement of goods for a more wholesome economic and national development.
Earlier, the MD of NEXIM Bank, Alhaji Bello said the Bank initiated the project because it noticed some gaps which made Nigeria’s trade with global trade, inefficient.
“We noticed that Nigeria is blessed with very good waterways but over the years, lack of dredging has made them un-navigate able. Many of our rivers need dredging to make them navigate able.
“The idea of the Sea Link Project is to facilitate both domestic and international trade”.
He pledged that NEXIM Bank will commit to the MoU and adhere to all the conditions for the success of the project.
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