By Omotilwa Quadri
The Secretary to the Government of the Federation (SGF), Boss Mustapha, on Thursday disclosed that only 4,000km of Nigeria’s 10,000km waterways is navigable. This means 60% is not navigable.
Mustapha, who was the Managing Director of National Inland Waterways Authority (NIWA) until his appointment as SGF on 30 October 2017, made the disclosure at the Nigeria–Ukraine Trade and Investment Roundtable held in Abuja.
He solicited partnership with Ukraine to enable the Federal Government to further develop its waterways.
According to him, such a step would reduce the pressure on the nation’s roads.
“Nigeria has 10,000km waterways and 4,000km is navigable. I believe that if our waterways are fully developed, it can take away pressure from our roads as a bulk of our cargoes can be transported through the waterways,” Mustapha said.
Mustapha also called for an increased volume of trade between Nigeria and Ukraine.
According to Mustapha, the trade volume between Nigeria and Ukraine was $93.3 million as at November 2017, representing a four percent decrease from the 2016.
The SGF expressed optimism that with the visit of the Ukrainian delegation, the trade volume between the two countries will improve.
On her part, the Deputy Minister for Economic Development and Trade of Ukraine, Natalia Mykolska, described Nigeria as a long-standing friend of Ukraine.
She noted that Nigerian students in Ukraine were the best ambassadors for both countries.
“Nigeria is a strategic partner, we believe trade is not a one-way street; we need to think of import, export and joint cooperation,” Mykolska said.
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