The African Export-Import Bank (Afreximbank) and Nigeria Export-Import Bank (NEXIM) on Monday announced a decision to finance the charting of the main channel of the Niger-Benue river in Nigeria.

A statement released jointly by Afreximbank and NEXIM Monday said this was part of the Regional Sealink Project, an initiative by the west African countries aiming to bridge the gap in maritime transport infrastructure and improve trade connectivity in the region.

The statement said Afreximbank provided a grant of 350,000 dollars to supplement the 450,000 dollars made available by NEXIM, thus completing the financing of the bathymetric survey and hydrographic and hydrological studies of the lower Niger-Benue river.

Completion of the studies will enable “infrastructure that will deepen the partnership engagements of both institutions to foster trade connectivity, especially under the African Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA),” according to the statement.

“The partnership will also facilitate the implementation of the Regional Sealink project, thereby promoting hinterland, coastal and transit trade as well as the broadening of Nigeria’s export basket with bulk commodities like solid minerals and agricultural products,” the statement said.

Inland waterways are a key transport mode that plays a vital role in facilitating the efficient and cost-effective movement of goods and providing a competitive alternative to rail and road transport while ensuring integration into the country’s international logistics chain, the statement said. Enditem

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