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FG secures Nigeria’s waterways – Sambo

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By Abiodun Okunloye

Nigeria's government ensures the safety of the country's waterways.

During the Scorecard series of President Muhammadu Buhari’s (PMB) second edition Administration (2015-2023) as the Nigeria leader, which was held in Abuja on Monday, Mu’azu Sambo, who is the transport minister asserted that the Federal Government had taken control of the nation’s waterways through the execution of the Deep Blue project. He stated that the nation had not documented any instances of piracy in its maritime domain ever since the project’s launch in June of 2021.

As part of its multifaceted and intermodal mission, the Ministry in Charge of Transportation and Infrastructure has been tasked with ensuring the safety and security of the country’s international waters and those of the country’s waterways and rail corridors in collaboration with a broad range of stakeholders. However, it is important to know that when it comes to piracy, the Gulf of Guinea is considered to be the most dangerous place in the entire globe.

Piracy acts within Nigeria’s exclusive economic zone will be tamed.

The ministry put into action the deep blue project, also known as the integrated national security and waterway protection infrastructure, to end piracy acts within Nigeria’s exclusive economic zone. There is also security in the Gulf of Guinea and marine organization of West and Central African states to prevent illicit operations in the maritime waters under Nigeria’s jurisdiction. A further objective of the project is to strengthen compliance with maritime regulations in order to reduce the risk of loss of life at sea.

He stated that with such an impressive track record, the country is getting ready to confront the conflict zone insurance load that has been placed on the Nigeria-bound shipping community. Also, the Buhari government passed the anti-piracy bill, which is vital legislation that has been a problem for several previous administrations before 2015. He added that the legislation would prohibit and eradicate armed robbery, piracy and all other unlawful behaviour against ships, aircraft, and marine transportation, including fixed and floating platforms.

The waterway will make Nigeria’s products more marketable globally.

More than 10,000 kilometres of inland waterways and approximately 850 kilometres of coastal waters can be located in Nigeria. Then what kind of a business is someone running by transporting containers by road from Lagos to Onitsha? He asked. According to Sambo, if we as a nation are able to develop the inland waterways to the point where they are competitive, then not only will the pricing of our commodities on the international market be very competitive, but so will the product prices we import from other countries.

Moreover, the minister emphasized that the concession of the port of Onitsha had been successful and that other ports had been established in the states of Niger, Kogi, and Imo at Baro and Lokoja, respectively. Government efforts to build dry inland ports, according to Sambo, are all about bringing navigation to the people. He said that Kaduna and Dala, two dry inland ports, had been successfully designated as home ports by the government, including Funtua, Isialangwa, Aba, Jos, and Maiduguri, were in various stages of development.

The Anti-Piracy Act made piracy and other crimes punishable.

Speaking of the usefulness of the anti-piracy bill that the Buhari-led administration passed, he stated that the passage of the bill had made it possible to administer justice in the country for piracy and other offences related to maritime activity. Regarding inland waterways, he stated that the Buhari government had considered using them as an alternate means of transportation in addition to roads, airplanes, and trains because they were economical and kind to the environment.

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