From Emmanuel Adeyemi lokoja
The managing director of National inland waterway Authority , Dr George Moghalu has said the Act establishing the organization was weak and needed a strengthened legal frame work to enable it carry out it’s functions effectively without having jurisdictional and operational conflicts with other agencies.
Dr Moghalu who gave this hint on Tuesday at the NIWA headquarters, lokoja during the inaugural meeting of the board of directors said the organization has been having running battles with some agencies of government like Nigeria port authority , ( NPA) Nigeria Maritime administration and safety agency (NIMASA) and others over jurisdictional conflicts.
He also disclosed that NIWA has also been having operational conflicts with the Lagos state government and of recent Delta state government which has led to several litigations, a situation he said has hampered the smooth administration of the organization
Aside from these, the NIWA boss said the organization is challenged by serious infrastructural decay, inadequate funding, staff welfare and training and urged the new board of directors to do all they can to help ameliorate these problems
Responding the chairman, Board of Directors of NIWA, Senator Binta Masi Garba said the board will do everything possible to help the organization achieve its set goals and promised to use resources at their disposal to to make the nation’s 10,000km-waterways navigable throughout the year.
Masi-Garba expressed regret that though “Nigeria is richly blessed with more than 10,000km Waterways, only 3,800km out of it is being navigated all year round.
“The board, as a neutral platform for dialogue and collaboration as well as a place to openly share ideas, experiences and discuss solutions, we will from time to time bring together stakeholders, operators and multilateral agencies and academics to discuss solutions.
“I want to assure you that as the chairman, I will do my best to discharge my duties and join hands with well meaning stakeholders to create and bequeath an organisation that is better than the one we have today,
“I will be fully committed and willing to deploy time and resources towards the attainment of the authority’s vision to establish and sustain a first class organisation managed professionally and responsibly.” she added