By Steve Agbota
The Lagos Area Office of the the National Inland Waterways Authority (NIWA) has been adjudged the most outstanding area office of the agency.
The Association of Maritme Journalists of Nigeria (AMJON) in its 2022 Annual Conference and Awards presented the award to the NIWA Lagos Area Office for the transformation of inland waterways being carried out under the leadership of the Area Manager, Sarat Braimah.
The association said that since assumption Braimah to office as the Lagos Area Manager of NIWA has shown capacity and unprecedented determination to bring new ideas in the transformation NIWA’s mandate.
“Under her watch, strategic training and retraining of boat captains, owners and other stakeholders has become a Catholic creed and yielding expected results, with almost zero accidents and mishaps, a thing of the past.
“The licensing of both boat owners and captains, is now modelled through training ecology unlike before where application for operational licensing bore no timelines of ethical practice. Indeed, the train and be licensed agenda introduced by NIWA under her watch, drastically curbbed boat mishaps and accidents on our waterways.
“Braimah and her team are aggressively carrying out safety and security campaigns to the riverine communities in the state to educate them on the best and safest ways to use the Waterways , impactful to dm reduction of accidents in the riverine communities, where heritage boating activities, are now driving from knowledge perspectives,” the association said.
According to AMJON, NIWA Lagos office is also carrying out regular stakeholders engagement to keep them abreast of the new developments, in technologies, climate change, brown water economy, innovations and policies of the government and global benchmark on environment and community inland waterways transportation.
“On regulations and enforcement, Sarat Braimah, leads by example, driving the patrol and enforcement architecture of niwa in lagos, scaling her officers to be proactive and responsive to day and night patrol checks on the very vibrant and fast growing waterways in Lagos, in order to checkmate, monitor and arrest defaulters of extant regulations, especially against night sailings, wearing of life jackets, over speeding, overloading, drunkenness to bring sanity to the waterways.
“The NIWA, Lagos office is constantly distributing life jackets to both passengers and boat Operators as it’s CSR to encourage and curb boat mishaps,” AMJON said.