Barge Operators Association of Nigeria, BOAN, has said that it is targeting an annual contribution of $3billion to the nation’s Gross Domestic Product for 2022, according to its National President, Bunmi Olumekan.

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He also said that the group was making plans to start lifting liquid cargoes to West African countries.

“Now, we have done a lot. We are looking at how we can generate $3billion yearly. We are not going to limit our barging to only container or general cargoes because even liquid cargoes can go through barges. We have to look for petroleum products; we need to be moving refined products from here to Cotonou, Ghana or other parts of West Africa.”

Olumekan, however, blamed insecurity as one of the reasons operators were still finding it difficult to move cargoes through barges to other parts of the country.

“The greatest challenge is insecurity. We want a situation where you cannot ply from Lagos to Onitsha without any hindrance. We cannot move from here to Warri without any hindrance. We need to know that there is a need for a good security system for people to be able to do their businesses without any hindrance.

“There is a need to work with all the states. I can tell you that out of the 36 states, we have 33 that are covered by water.  So, what I am trying to say is that barges need to be an ultra modern means of transportation within Nigeria and outside the Western Coast. We still have a long way to go, and that security aspect of it needs to be tackled,” he concluded.