The House of Representatives says it will include the revitalisation of Gele-Gele Seaport in Edo in the 2024 budget estimates.
This followed the adoption of a motion by Rep. Esosa Iyawe (LP-Edo) at the plenary in Abuja on Tuesday
In his motion, the lawmaker noted that the maritime industry remained the second largest contributor of revenue to Nigeria’s economy.
He said it had been touted as capable of surpassing the oil sector in terms of revenue generation.
He said the Gele-Gele Seaport in Edo had an important place in history, saying that it was where the first European travellers to visit Benin landed.
Iyawe said that the subsequent diplomatic and trade relations between the Portuguese and the great Benin Kingdom were carried out via the same seaport.
He said that in spite of its relevance as an international trade route, the Gele-Gele seaport was abandoned after Nigeria’s independence.
The lawmaker further said that attention was diverted to Lagos ports which were currently overwhelmed, adding that the need to focus on other ports had become imperative.
Iyawe said that maritime industry remained one of the most lucrative industries in the world, saying that it sets the pace of growth experienced in other industries.
He said that Nigeria’s economic growth through the industry would largely depend on the development and expansion of its seaports to accommodate the demands of the sector.
He said maritime transportation needed quick response and the labour market in the industry required both skilled and unskilled workers for the sector to function properly.
Iyawe said that this would help in the revitalisation of the Gele-Gele seaport, adding that it would create huge employment opportunities.
He said this would not be limited only to the people in the South-South zone but also for the teeming unemployed youths in Nigeria.
According to him, if Gele-Gele seaport is revived and developed to meet international standards, it will play a significant role in boosting Nigeria’s ailing economy.
“This is because Edo State is geographically connected to various parts of the country, which makes it an economic hub for international trade and investments,’’ the lawmaker said.
Adopting the motion, the House urged the Federal Government to, in line with its diversification agenda, leverage the huge economic potential in the maritime sector.
According to the House, this is by including the revitaliation of the Gele-Gele Seaport in Edo State in the 2024 budget estimates.
The House also mandated the Committee on Maritime Safety, Education and Administration, when constituted, to ensure compliance