Director-General, Nigerian Maritime Administration and Safety Agency, NIMASA Bashir Yusuf Jamoh says the Northern part of the country has 10,500 kilometres of inland waterways waiting to be harnessed.
He stated this while speaking with journalists in Kaduna.
The Director-General NIMASA noted that there are a lot of potentials in the Maritime in North that is not known.
He called on the states governments and investors to take up the challenge.
According to Bashir Yusuf Jamoh, most people believe that since there’s no sea in the region, there is no maritime but maintained that this view was not correct.
“The inland waterways in the North is an asset to the country and should be utilised because we have over 10,500 km inland waterways waiting to be harnessed, while in the sea we have 853 km less than 1,000kms,” he said.
‘Talking about Inland waterways, we have over ten thousand, five hundred ( 10,500) kilometres, or so. But I think the 853 kilometres we have, with the sea, is less than 1000. But this one we have over ten thousand.”, he declared.
To this end, he was of the view that the maritime in the Northern region should be reported for the benefit of all Nigerians and potential investors.
“Sincerely speaking, I want to make one observation, Nigeria is Nigeria, regardless of where we come from. But what is disturbing me, the issue of the maritime industry in Nigeria is lagging behind up North.
“Majority of people do believe that since we don’t have a sea,….we don’t have maritime…..that’s not correct…If you go to Egypt, it’s an artificial lake they use…you see this River Kaduna, it’s a river. If we dredge it, we would make better use of it. It is as good as the sea.”
“Whatever resources you can have in our sea, you can have it there. The maritime asset you can have in our sea, you have it here. ”
“So, I begin to wonder why all these years, we never try to look at the River Kaduna beyond what the River Kaduna should provide. We should be able to see a lot of things in River Kaduna across that line.”
“So the water transportation in the North, using the river Kaduna can be utilised for the inhabitants that can use, around that area.”
Jamoh also noted that ‘if you can develop infrastructure, connecting roads that can connect to different villages, you’ve roads that can get to the River Kaduna, along the sides you can have hospitality industries.”
“When you’ve hospitality industry, you can imagine the kind of economy, you can imagine the level of employment that you can generate, you can imagine the level of tourism, people would come and build the tourism industry around that line.”
“So, so many things you are seeing at the sea, you can get it at River Kaduna. So all we need to do is try to assess what and what do we have in the river?
‘You see that River Kaduna, underneath there are a lot of things including gold. It’s a matter of conducting the research. There are a lot of things that we are using to produce medicine like ….hypertension, diabetics drug, such things used to come underwater……it doesn’t matter we’ve to be at sea, the same water that harbours such things at sea, we can have the same things in inland waterways.”
“So, I think the media up North, should be up and doing, in trying to propagate what we have here. To educate the local populace, to educate the Governors, that they should make use of such opportunities.”
‘I am telling you what we’ve in our inland waterways is an economy on itself. If you say you are going to harness it, it is okay to give thousands of people means of livelihood., either directly or indirectly.”
‘ That is where you will get things like gold, copper, everything, under the water. We don’t harness it.
” Some times when I passed river Kaduna, I see Dollar, Pounds Sterling, Euro,…….you know it…When the water is flowing, I say look at…..money flowing and you can’t pick it” he lamented.
“We have 10,500km inland waterways in North waiting to be harnessed We have 10,500km inland waterways in North waiting to be harnessed We have 10,500km inland waterways in North waiting to be harnessed We have 10,500km inland waterways in North waiting to be harnessed,” he said.
Reporting by Adamu Yusuf; Editing by Abdullahi Lamino