The Secretary to the Government of the Federation, Boss Mustapha, has remarked that about 75 per cent of heavy-duty cargoes that are being moved on Nigeria’s highways should rather be transported on inland waterways.

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Mustapha made the remark in Abuja while playing host to the Managing Director, Nigeria Inland Waterways Authority, George Moghalu.

The SGF said the problems on the country’s highways would persist if the inland waterways remained unfixed.

The SGF said, “As long as we do not fix our inland waterways, we will continue to grapple with the problems on our highways.

“This is because almost 75 per cent of items being moved as cargoes on our highways ought not to be on the highways.”

Mustapha added, “These commodities include cargoes such as petroleum products, heavy-duty commodities like cement, limestone, etc.

“Also, other things that you think are heavy enough not to be on our highways can efficiently and effectively be run or transported on inland waterways.”

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Mustapha, who was a former managing director of NIWA, stated that rail transportation and highways should serve as complements of inland waterways.

According to him, the country has two major rivers and these two rivers have networks that connect into 28 of the 36 states in Nigeria.

The SGF also advocated for the sustenance of inter-modal means of transportation in order to reduce pressure on highways in Nigeria.

On his part, Moghalu told his host that NIWA had been working hard to develop inland waterways across the country, as he noted that the agency had recently put the Onitsha Port into operations.

He said the importance of waterways in boosting the country’s transportation system could not be overemphasised.