The Minister of Transport, Sen. Idris Umar, yesterday expressed Federal Government’s willingness to partner Poland in maritime development in order to boost the industry in Nigeria.
Umar made this known in Abuja when the Polish Deputy Minister of Economy, Mr Andrzej Dycha, accompanied by some Polish entrepreneurs, visited him.
He said that Nigeria had a lot of maritime opportunities for investors, especially in the ongoing development of Nigerian Maritime Administration and Safety Agency’s (NIMASA) shipyard and dockyard facility which ground breaking ceremony was performed by President Goodluck Jonathan on May 10, 2014.
The shipyard, located in Okerenkoko, Delta State, is expected to build and maintain vessels when completed.
According to Umar, “We are currently building shipyard and dockyard in Delta so we will like to partner Poland, giving the opportunities that it has expertise in.
“We are looking for technical partners and private investors in shipyard infrastructural development.”
He disclosed that discussion on development of the maritime sector would commence between both countries soon, adding that the Federal Government had executed many rail line projects.
“We have a total of 3,505 kilometers of narrow gauge system. We are equally developing the standard gauge system.
“We have carried out a number of feasibility studies for new rail line corridors. Various investors have signified interest from across the world,” he said.
Earlier, Dycha said that the position of Nigeria in Africa with regard to economy, and potential, prompted the visit of the delegation to Nigeria.
He said that Poland would cooperate with Nigeria in developing the shipyard and other maritime facilities in the country.
“We have good platform for ventures; we have good offers for infrastructure development and can offer soft loan at below one per cent interest, to finance the development of maritime academy,” he said.
The Polish Ambassador to Nigeria, Przemyslaw Niesiolowski, who led the delegation, said that his country was also interested in maritime education.
According to him, Poland has some expertise and technical know-how on railway development and planning of transportation network and infrastructure.
Niesiolowski expressed optimism that if bilateral relationship was established in between both countries, there would be great improvement in the maritime industry in Nigeria