The Nigerian Navy says 50% success has been recorded in the ongoing charting and survey of Rivers Niger and Benue by its hydrographic team.
The Hydrographer of the Nigerian Navy, Rear Admiral Chukwuemeka Okafor, made this known during the formal inauguration of the project at the Western Naval Command Apapa.
Rear Admiral Okafor observed that navigational route in Nigeria had remained moribund for over 6 decades , but with the completion of the survey and charting project, the inland water navigational route would be opened again.
He stated that the newly inducted 60-meters offshore survey vessel, NNS LANA, has commenced its first ever systematic survey of Nigeria’s coastal and offshore waters, which is expected to further improve the knowledge of the country’s ocean for better management and sustainable use.
According to Rear Okafor, the tripartite collaboration involving the Navy, National Inland Waterways Authority and NEXIM Bank will re-open the very critical inland water navigation route in Nigeria, after over 6 decades.
He also noted that the project would further provide the Government with vital information that would provoke appropriate governance measures to ensure sustainable use of that part of the nation’s maritime space.
The Hydrographer of the Nigerian Navy highlighted some activities scheduled for the event to include, awareness lectures on hydrography to selected secondary schools in Lagos, Port Harcourt, and Kano State, aimed at arousing the interests of young minds in career choice, towards providing quality hydrographic service delivery to policy makers and mariners alike.
Others are plenary session on June 21, for professionals and government officials to deliberate on how best to use the science of hydrography to improve the health of Nigeria’s ocean for sustainable development.
Rear Admiral Okafor added that the force has collaborated with the University of Lagos, in research and capacity building, to ensure that adequate skilled hydrographic manpower is available to provide the needed hydrographic services to the nation.
The theme for this year world hydrography day was Hydrography contributing to the United Nations ocean decay
Senior officers were in attendance during the briefing.
Reporting by Mary Fatile,Chukwuma Agbanusi, Editing by Omotola Oguneye