By Gladys Eze –
The Federal Government has signed an undisclosed commercial contract agreement with the China Civil Engineering Construction Corporation (CCECC) on the Calabar and Port harcourt segment one,which will extend to Onne port of a coastal rail project.
Minister of Transport,Mr. Rotimi Ameachi made this known yesterday in Lagos during the occasion of the formal inauguration of the executive committee of African Maritime Journalists Association (AMJA)held in Lagos yesterday.
Represented by the Senior Press Officer,Federal Ministry of Transport, Ijeoma Chijioke Adindu,the minister stated the that federal government is committed to building a virile platform through the implementation of policies and programmes that will advance the contribution of the maritime sector to the development of the economy.
He noted that “in continuation of government’s effort to improve ports efficiency and ensure seamless movement of cargoes within the country,the federal government recently signed commercial contract agreements with the Calabar-Port Harcourt segment 1 extending to the Onne deep seaports of the coastal rail project with CCECC”
The minister of Transportation further said that “the federal government is also determined to enforce the provision of coastal and inland shipping (cabotage act 2003),which is an important pillar for home grown capacity for the sustainable development of the Nigeria maritime industry”
“This is timely more so when the government is paying attention to promoting the local content of the maritime sub sector by developing the indigenous potentials to contribute to the growth of the nation, creating jobs and wealth for our teeming youths for sustainable development”
Ameachi also said that the federal government and the concessionaires are working assiduously to relieve the seaports and the burden of perennial congestions.
“Providing opportunities for even infrastructural development,harnessing potentials for consolidation and other numerous economic benefits that abound in the maritime sector. “
“Let me state here that the federal government is committed to building a virile platform through the implementation of policies and programmes that will advance the contribution of the maritime sector to the development of the economy”
“Furthermoew,exploiting the various opportunities in the maritime sector has the capacity to contribute to the prosperity of African countries by increasing by increasing the Gross Domestic Products (GDP),Per Capita income and also serves as an alternative source of government revenue”,he stressed.
Also speaking on the theme,”Blue Economy”the minister called on African countries to diversify their economy by exploring the opportunities in the maritime sector in order to broaden the revenue base and also provide employment for the teeming population.
“The blue economy is made up of vast resources that are ocean based”
“These include but are but are not limited to the rivers,fisheries,shipping,tourism,water transportation,port activities, coastal mining and energy’all these items have potentials to contribute billions of dollars to Africa economy”