Femi Folaranmi, Yenagoa
The National Inland Waterways Authority(NIWA) is ready to play its regulatory role in waterways in Nigeria says the Managing Director and Chief Executive Officer, Dr George Moghalu.
Moghalu who disclosed this in an interview after undertaking a tour of NIWA office in Yenagoa said boats would now be given permits to operate on the waterways. “We are going to play our regulatory role by enforcing the use of permits before boats can enter waterways because we cannot allow rickety boats to go and waste the lives of Nigerians” he said.
Speaking on other safety measures being put in place to make the waterways attractive to Nigerians, Moghalu disclosed that NIWA has identified its major challenges and addressing them.
He expressed regret that NIWA has been underreported noting that the situation has been exploited by those who should fulfil their obligations to NIWA.
His words “Today in NIWA, we have been able to reorient our thinking. Now everybody believes in our vision of making waterways a transport means of choice in the shortest possible time and that is exactly what we are doing. We are clearing water debris and water hyacinths in some of our channels. We are doing the much we can to standardise the process having a clear data on those that operates on the waterways. As I speak with you we have signed a Memorandum of Understanding with a firm that is going to provide life jackets across all water fronts in this country because of our consideration for security.”
On the current state of the NIWA office in Yenagoa, Moghalu stated that the office needs the support of NIWA management team to deliver on its targets.
He commended the management and staff of NIWA Bayelsa office led by the Area Manager for Mr Tom Shaba for setting targets for the office stressing that he would ensure they get all the logistics support to achieve their targets.