… NIMASA expresses readiness to support project
The Edo State Governor, Mr. Godwin Obaseki, has said the Benin River Port project is critical and strategic to Nigeria’s economy, noting that the state government is willing to partner with the Nigerian Maritime Administration and Safety Agency, (NIMASA) to bring the project to reality.
Obaseki disclosed this when he hosted the Director General of NIMASA, Dr. Bashir Jamoh, who led other members of the agency’s management team on a courtesy visit to the Government House in Benin City.
He said Edo State is very unique in its ecology, which spans swamp, rain forest, and savanna planes, noting, “There is nothing we cannot grow here. With a port here, it is going to be a unique opportunity because it is not going to be moving traffic one way.
“For us, agricultural activities will be further enhanced with the access this port will provide. The blue economy has always been critical to our growth as a people. I am very glad to inform you that over the last four years, a lot of work has gone on with the project.”
He continued: “Why is this important to us? The economy of Nigeria must be diversified.
We don’t have a choice or an option. The global economy is going to be driven by other factors outside the traditional crude oil or the fuel economy that we are used to.
“We are locating this port in a place that is perhaps Nigeria’s largest and richest onshore gas reserve. You can imagine that this energy exists to drive whatever amount of industrialization that needs to be.”
Earlier, NIMASA DG, Jamoh had stressed that with the rise of alternative energy, countries are seeking green options to fossil fuel, noting that the maritime sector has the potential to grow Nigeria’s revenue base.
Jamoh acknowledged that the Benin River Port project is a testament that Edo understands the benefits of shipping and expressed readiness to ensure the state explores the opportunities of the blue economy.
He noted that the NIMASA was ready to sponsor indigenes of the state to Greece on fully-funded scholarship to study Maritime Science.