Nigeria, Singapore Partner to Fight Waterways Piracy

Abuja – Minister of Transportation Rotimi Amaechi says Nigeria is partnering with foreign companies to get rid of piracy on the Nigerian waterways.

Amaechi said this when a delegation of Singapore’s Senior Minister of State on Trade and Investment paid a courtesy visit on him on Thursday in Abuja.

According to him, the level of piracy is high and the Federal Government is partnering with other countries to resolve it.

“We can also learn from Singapore on how to manage space; Singapore has 719 square kilometer and Nigeria has about a million.

“We are having maritime security challenges. We are currently occupying number one position and we need to quit that position for someone else.

“The level of piracy appears to be high, but the Federal Government has approved some level of partnership with foreign companies to get the Nigerian waterways off piracy.“

Commenting on the rail projects, he said that the Federal Government was concessioning the narrow gauge rail system to General Electric (GE), to rehabilitate and run it for 30 years.

He said that the agreement was being drafted to be signed by September, stating that by October, operation and repairs would commence.

“We concluded on Aug. 1; the agreement is being drafted, so around ending of August or early September this year, we will sign the agreement.

“ After we sign the agreement, by October 2017 they (GE) will start operating, they will operate and repair the narrow guage, “ he said.

Amaechi said that government was planning to negotiate with China on the six billion dollars loan for the Ibadan-Kano rail and 11.1 billion dollars for the Lagos-Calabar project.

Dr. Koh Poh Koon, Singapore’s Senior Minister of State on Trade and Investment, said the visit was to strengthen the Nigeria, Singapore good bilateral relationship.

Koon further said that his country could assist Nigeria to tackle the challenges of maritime security.

Source: Sundiata Post