The Federal Government has commenced moves to rehabilitate the old Burutu port in Delta State and dedicate it to shipment of solid mineral.
The Managing Director, Nigeria Export and Import Bank, Mr. Abubakar Bello, gave this indication at a recent stakeholders’ meeting on the cessation of Cabotage waivers.
According to the NEXIM bank chief, Nigerian importers have challenges moving their bulk cargoes to their place of use.
Bello who was represented by his Special Assistant, Mr. Hope Yongo, said that most of these cargoes were in millions of tonnage kept around the River Niger.
He said, “So what we did was to look around and see how we could deepen the inland waterways so that we can use barges to move them.
“We discovered that there is an abandoned port somewhere in Burutu, it is one of the first ports in Nigeria and it is lying fallow.
“So we are partnering with the owner to convert it to a solid mineral port.”
Bello explained that although the bank had been involved in the project over the past five years, it was busy developing the inland waterways in preparation for the movement of the cargoes.
On how soon they hope to commence operation, Bello said that before the end of the year, the Burutu port should be ready for use.
The Federal Government has also developed new mineral export guidelines to ensure accurate data of mineral exports.
The Minister of State for Mines and Steel Development, Bwari Abubakar, who spoke through his Special Assistant on Technical Matters, Mr Henry Davies, during a mining summit in Lagos, also disclosed that along with the guidelines, the government had decided to reduce the time for processing of mineral export permits from two weeks to two days.
“We have also created an Investment Promotion and Trade department in the ministry to ensure smooth transaction throughout the solid mineral value chain,” he said.