NEXIM Bank facilitated Regional Sealink Project Holds its Investment Forum at the La Palm Royal Beach Hotel in Accra, Ghana

The purpose for setting up a regional/transnational maritime shipping company is to link seaports on the West & Central African coast

The Sealink Project conceived by the Nigeria Export-Import Bank (NEXIM), Federation of the West and Central Africa Chambers of Commerce and Industries (FEWACCI) and TRANSIMEX (an integrated logistic services provider based in Cameroun) today in Accra, Ghana holds its Investment Forum to offer a unique and compelling investment proposition to private sector entities in the fast growing West and Central African region.

In order to ensure successful take-off for the service, these agencies had earlier on in 2012 formed a special purpose vehicle, Sealink Promotional Company Limited to drive the strategy and business model for the successful implementation of the Project.

According to the Managing Director of Nigerian Export-Import Bank, Mr. Roberts U. Orya, the purpose for setting up a regional/transnational maritime shipping company is to link seaports on the West & Central African coast in order to facilitate trade and ensure smooth transportation of cargo and passengers within and between the two regions. This objective is primarily towards realizing the objectives of the founding fathers of ECOWAS for free movement of persons, goods and services within the sub-region.

The current board of directors of Sealink is comprised of representatives of these agencies. The board is assisted by an advisory committee (referred to as the Technical Committee) which is composed of experienced technocrats in the maritime industry across West and Central Africa.

The Sealink project is currently endorsed and supported by various regional bodies that identify with the Project. Notable among these bodies are the ECOWAS, the Maritime Organisation of West and Central Africa (MOWCA), Union of African Shippers’ Council, African Development Bank, ECOWAS Bank for Investment and Development and West African Development Bank (BOAD). The Project has been presented to the governments of member countries as well as their various maritime and ports organisations and authorities of member countries.

Why Invest in the Sealink Project

According to Mr. Orya, the Sealink Project offers a unique and compelling investment proposition in the fast growing West and Central African region for the following reasons:

1. A sector poised for growth: Inter and intra-regional trade in West and Central Africa has been hampered by the poor state of transportation infrastructure. Introducing a direct coastal link between the two regions is expected to have a multiplier effect on rate of economic growth in these regions thus providing adequate returns for investors.

2. National and supranational support: The Sealink Project is a private sector initiative which has gained the full support of various supranational bodies across West and Central Africa including ECOWAS Commission, FEWACCI, and the Maritime Organisation of Central Africa (MOWCA). This is expected to enhance funding and assist the company to navigate the maritime regulatory regime in the region.

3. Diversification opportunity: The investment provides an opportunity to enable investors without prior exposure to the maritime sector or to the West and Central Africa region to diversify their portfolio and would grow with other sectors including oil and gas, agriculture and mining which are currently witnessing exponential growth in West and Central Africa.

4. Large capacity for passengers and cargos: With the push for free and unrestricted movement of goods and services, the Sealink Project is expected to benefit from its capacity to carry large cargo and passengers.

5. Strong economic fundamentals: The Project will enjoy a near monopoly status with its connection of the West and Central African ports. The unique proposition of Sealink ensures that the company is able to charge premium fare owing to its offering of a safe, secure, modern fleet with modern communication equipment that guarantee passenger safety onboard.

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