The Minister of Transportation, Mu’azu Jaji Sambo, has described the nation’s Inland Waterways as a cash cow that should be milked for the good of the country.
He also said inland waterways development can impact on the gross domestic product of the country.
The minister stated this on Friday in Abuja at the inauguration of the Technical Working Group (TWG) Proposal for Channel Management between Escravos, Onitsha and Baro Port on the Niger River on Public Private Partnership (PPP) Arrangement.
Speaking further, Sambo said: “Providence has challenged me to put into reality what I went to China to pursue as an employee of National Inland Waterways Authority, NIWA. I went to China, in 2016, 2017 and 2018.
“In my own case, I was marketing the waterfront lands owned by NIWA and we zeroed on the Marina NIWA Area Office with a proposal to reclaim that land to build a container terminal as well as a passenger terminal for people passing through Apapa.”
According to him, the idea was that when containers come into Lagos, they don’t have to discharge those meant for Onitsha in Lagos but transport them in barges or vessels that can transverse low draughts to Onitsha Port to be picked by vehicles for distribution in the hinterlands.