By Philip Nwosu
The Nigerian Navy has called for a rethink in efforts towards economic diversification in Nigeria, suggesting hydrography as an enabler.
Chief of Naval Staff, Vice Admiral Awwal Gambo, handed down the proposal during the 2021 World Hydrography Day,yesterday. Hydrography is the science of surveying and charting bodies of water, such as seas, lakes, and rivers.
The naval chief said through hydrography, Nigeria’s inland water ways which connects the Atlantic Ocean through 25 river entrances could be opened for transportation of goods and services from the hinterland to the sea for export, thereby boosting revenue earrings for the country.
He said the navy and Nigerian Export-Import Bank (NEXIM) are in partnership for the opening up of the nation’s inland waters for improved maritime business, through hydrographic survey and charting.
Gambo said effective hydrographic practice ould ensure adequate chart coverage of about 84,000 square nautical miles of Nigeria’s littoral waters and ultimately provide up-to-date nautical products to drive Nigeria’s Blue Economy project, including support for safe conduct of mariners’ activities.
He said through international cooperation in hydrography with the United Kingdom which dates back to the 81 century, Nigeria had been able to keep its sea lanes of communication open for all forms of maritime activities that support over 96 per cent of the country’s seaborne trade.