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How North can maximise potentials of River Kaduna

NIMASA board appoints 3 new directors, promotes 469
NIMASA DG, Dr. Jamoh
…Media has responsibility to populace, stakeholders
By NIMASA DG, Dr Bashir Jamoh
Sincerely speaking, I want to make one observation, Nigeria is Nigeria, regardless of  where we come from, but what is disturbing me on the issue of the maritime industry in Nigeria is that the nation is lagging behind up North.
I have made an attempt to get a media men from the Northwest, Northeast and from North Central, that can be reporting maritime. I think we’ve reached an advanced stage, signing that agreement so that we can continue to disseminate information about maritime in the Northern part of the country.That’s number one.
Number two, majority of people do believe that since we don’t have a sea, we don’t have any business with maritime, that’s not correct. If you go to Egypt, it is artificial lake that they use. You see this River Kaduna, it is a river. If we dredge it, we would make a better use of it.It is as good as sea.
Whatever resources you can have in our sea,you can have it there. The maritime asset you can have in our sea, you have it here.
So, I begin to wonder why all these years ,we never try to look at the River Kaduna beyond what the River Kaduna should provide. We should be able to see the lot of things in River Kaduna across that line.
So the water transportation in the North, using the River Kaduna can be utilised for the inhabitants around that area.
Number two, the issue of infrastructure, the River Kaduna bounds, if you can develop infrastructure, connecting roads that can connect to different villages, you’ve roads that can get to the River Kaduna ,along the sides you can have hospitality industries.
When you’ve hospitality industry, you can imagine the kind of economy, you can imagine the level of employment that you can generate, you can imagine the level of tourism, people would come and build the tourism industry around that line.
So,so many things you are seeing at the sea, you can get it at River Kaduna. So all we need to do  is trying to assess what and what  do we have in the river? You see that River Kaduna, underneath there are a lot of things including gold. It’s a matter of conducting the research, you gind,out that there are a lot of things that we are using to produce medicine….hypertension, diabetics, such things used to come under water, it doesn’t matter we’ve to be at sea, the same water that harbours such things at sea, we can have the same things in inland waterways.
We have over ten thousand, five hundred ( 10,500) kilometresmor so of inland waterways.
So, I think the media up North, should  be up and doing, in trying to propagate what we have here.To educate the local populace, to educate the Governors, that they should make use of such opportunities.
I just met the Kogi State Governor this week and I told him I need to build office in Kogi. One, the issue of accidents we’ve being experiencing, even recently the last one we had in Kano, you can imagine about 40 lives, lost. It shouldn’t be so.We should be able to be conscious of our safety, we should be able to educate our people, if you are entering your car,they say you must use safety belt. How can you enter canoe without life vest? If there is accident in the canoe, you float when you have your life vest. Even in aircraft, you still fasten your seat belt.But you enter the canoe, there is nobody to enforce the life Vest rule.
I want to see how we can be able to start enforcing that, and it is the  duty for people like you to change the psyche, to change the character of people in the Northern part of Nigeria, to understand the better use of our own our inland waters.
I am telling you what we’ve in our inland waterways is an economy on itself. If you say you are going to harness it, it will give thousands of people means of livelihood, either directly or indirectly.
If you’ve roads around the boundaries of these waters, people would like to come and while away. Remember this  General Hassan Usman Katsina Garden.People used to go there to enjoy themselves either during festivals or weekends. You find people selling snacks, selling water. That’s indirect job as a result of that boundary of waters.So you can imagine only Hassan Usman Katsina Garden. If you’ve Hassan Usman Katsina Gardens more than ten or 15, you can imagine how many people can benefit from it.
So we must think outside the box. We need to do the dredging of that water,we have to have a short term,medium term and long term plan for us to harness the resources of our own inland waterways. There is no better people to educate most of the Northern populace apart from you. You are the ones that have that responsibility to educate them.
Some of you may chose to specialise in reporting inland waterways, benefits, gains, assets resources, where are they, facts and figures. What do we have? Conduct research, align with universities ,start conducting research on these.
There are plenty fish in that river, some of the fish we have, is much more better than the  one we are getting from the sea.It’s just like the hybrid chicken and the local one.If you eat them you know the taste is not  the same. It’s not the same. So  the same thing with this one.When you do the one called fountain fishing, and then you’ve the natural one, people eat natural food there.
But the issue here is not for you to go and start the local fishing where you put one koma (fish hook). No.You should get fishing trawlers, that you go further into the river and put your net and you get high quantity. You collect in large quantity.You see at the end of the day, how many you can catch when you are doing the old local fishing.
So,  if you’ve so many fishing trawlers, people will work with the fishing trawlers, how you’re  bringing, how you prepare it,mwhether you dry it, whether you produce it in a tin, or other things, for large production, all these are an economy standing on its own.That is only fish. You didn’t check for other resources, those that are under water. Because some of the inhabitants, they can survive on top of the water,some at the middle, some deep down, because they wouldn’t want sunlight, so they survive down. Till you dive under, you will know what’s there.
That is where you will get things like gold, copper, everything,under the water. We don’t harness it.Some times when I passed River Kaduna, I see Dollar, Pounds Sterling, Euro, you know it.When the water is flowing, I say look at money flowing and you can’t pick it.
You have to sit down and change the psyche. We have a lot there.Some of you will have to rethink. Try and specialize in that area . It’s money spinner. By the time you get your own result of research, people would start to come to you.All those Oyibo(whites), because they play like these flies. If they see meat here, they are following. So immediately they see what you’re getting, you will see them flying around.
Most of these research that I’m telling you about, I have it.I published a book in 2018, “Harnessing Nigerian Maritime Assets “. If you get that book, you’ll get some part of what I am telling you. You will get the analysis of what and what I am telling you.
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