Foreign investors from Serbia have expressed interest in the development of Nigeria’s inland waterways, which is said to hold so much promise as alternative means of transportation in Nigeria.
This was disclosed by the management of the National Inland Waterways Authority (NIWA), which said that both local and international investors have realised the potential of inland waterways transportation as money spinner for investors.
Officials of the Authority at a press conference in Lagos at the weekend said that most parts of the country would be connected through the waterways and the channels from the coast to Bida through the Rivers Niger has become a reality as it plans to concession the Ontisha port in Anambra state and also to develop the Oguta Lake in Imo State.
In order to attract more investors, NIWA said it has concluded arrangements for the hosting of the second International Conference and Exhibition, (ICE), on July 25, 2017 at the Oriental Hotel in Lagos.
NIWA said the conference with the theme: ‘Improving Navigability and Inland Port Development for Sustainable Investment on Nigerian Waterways’ is aimed at creating a platform for people to get to know what the agency is doing and to attract more investors.
According to the area manager, Lagos Zone of NIWA, Muazu Sambo, who was accompanied by the general manager corporate affairs of NIWA, Tayo Fadile and the general manager Marine, Olusegun Balogun, disclosed that the Minister of Transportation, Rotimi Amaechi would be the guest of honour, while the managing director of NIWA, Mustapha Boss would be the host.
The keynote speaker, he added, would be the head of the Centre for Port Operations of the Serbian Port Governance Agency responsible for managing inland ports in the Republic of Serbia, Srda Ljesevic.
He said Nigerians in the maritime business would be learning from Ljesevic with his over 20 years of experience in managing inland ports in the Republic of Serbia.
He would be delivering the first paper on the Imperatives for Enhancing Navigation and Inland Port Operations on Nigerian waterways, while Kunle Folarin would deliver the second paper on ‘Deriving the Benefits of Investments in Coastal and Inland Shipping Operations on Nigerian waterway.
He said the book on compendium of ICE 2014 procedures would be presented by the Minister of Transportation.