Moghalu Says economic activities abound on the Nigeria Inland waterways

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Managing Director/CEO of Nigeria Inland Waterways (NIWA), Chief Dr George N. Moghalu, disclosed this in his paper presentation titled ‘Maximising Nigeria Inland Waterways For Economic Growth And Development’ at the 2022 AMJON Annual Conference And Awards.



Moghalu who was ably represented at the event by Mr Abdulkadir Ahmed; GM, Marine Services of the Authority noted that overview of the Nigeria Inland Waterways Transportation Network



The Association of Maritime Journalists of Nigeria (AMJON) 2022 Annual Conference and Awards was held in Ikeja, Lagos with the Theme: “Maximising Nigeria’s Blue Economy Through Automation”



Moghalu pointed out the economic activities and potentials of the Nigeria Inland Waterways.



He further noted that a lot of economic activities abound on the Nigeria Inland waterways which can be exploited by both the government and the private sector and these opportunities if well harnessed would yield several economic benefits to the nation adding that the Inland waterways as an alternative means of transporting economic goods and passengers is very key to the development of the country.



According to the NIWA Boss, the development of the waterways will drastically bring down logistics costs and certainly will bring about competiveness in our export across the world.



“Leveraging on inland waterways to move cargoes within the country would help to evacuate cargoes from the ports and therefore relieve pressure on the roads and ease congestion at our ports corridor. Nigeria is a vast country blessed with an estimated 10000-kilometer waterways with about 3800-4000 kilometers seasonally navigable cutting across 28 states out of 36 states of the federation.



“These waterways have their channels majorly from the Niger and River Benue traversing both the north and southern parts of the country. However, a major parameter of development and economic viable society is the effective use of this inland waterways which lies in it, providing lots of potentials for economic growth. These potentials include but not limited to:


L-R: Managing Director, Webb Fontaine Nigeria Limited, Mr. Babalola…..; Rep of ES/CEO, Shippers Council, Mr. Sam Anyanwu; GM, Corporate and Strategic Communication, NPA,  Barr  (Mrs) Yemisi Oyinlola; MD, MNLG, Mr Abdulkadir Ahmed; GM, Marine Services, NIWA, Engr. Ororo; Rep of NDLEA, and President of AMJON, Mr. Paul Ogbuokiri, during the 2022 edition of the Annual AMJON Conference and Awards in Lagos December 19.

Housing and Tourism: All over the world, the most expensive places of residence are estates built along the waterfronts and beaches. Example is the Palm Beach Estate in United State of America (USA), which is a community of billionaires, The Eko Atlantic City which is projected to be the most expensive settlement in Africa, already accommodating the United States Embassy which when constructed will be one of the most ecstatic embassies in the world.



Population Growth and De-urbanization: “The development of inland waterways will create employment market as well as booming industries in both Agriculture and processing sector. This will encourage rural settlement along the coastline communities because of the booming economic activities thereby encouraging a growth in population within the coastal communities and also an even population distribution due to the economic activities bring to a considerable reduction in the population density of the urban centers, thereby reducing the over stretching of the social amenities.



Transportation: Boat drivers as well as crew of other water crafts are- employed as transporters conveying goods and passengers from one community to another. In the pre-railway era, most communities settled along the navigable channels due to economic advantages of the transshipment of goods as well as easy connections of distant communities. Improvement of inland waterways will help in lowering or reducing logistic cost for end user industries in the course of transportations as it is inherently cheaper than rail and road transportations.



Job Creation: With the numerous natural resources ranging from aquatic life to mineral resources found within the inland waterways, many jobs can be created within the inland waterways when properly and fully harnessed. These jobs could either be from the transport sectors, mining sector, fishing sectors as with boat and other automated water craft.


Managing director highlights importance of Water Transportation in Economic Development as follow:


Employment and job creation


Mass mobility


Revenue generation


Exert positive Economies of scale


Institutional development International


“Accelerated urbanization and population growth Promote socio-infrastructural development

In his Words: “The gains and benefits drivable from the full utilization of the Nigeria Inland Waterways is undoubtedly very huge and sustainable adding that the coveted Blue Economy resources cannot be fully realized if the coastal waters or the inland waterways are not deliberately integrated in the overall national masterplan of the country.



Moghalu pointed out that the only way of harnessing the ocean resources and ensuring that the benefits trickle down to the hinterland is through the development of the inland waterways. It therefore behooves on all critical stakeholders to ensure the optimum utilization of the Nigeria Waterways as it is desirable and imperative for the nation’s economic growth and prosperity, he stressed.



As has been enumerated earlier in this paper, the National Inland Waterways Authority is not oblivious of the above stated facts and are consciously deploying appropriate resources to ensure that it is achieved, he concluded.

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