She has the eyes and strength of an eagle. Sarat Braimah is focused and makes no pretences of leaving legacies. To her, the transformation of National Inland Waterways Authority (Niwa), Lagos area office where she is the area manager is not just a job, it is passion, dream of restoration and opportunity to showcase to Nigerians that the brown economy is a gold mine.
Driven to the fullest potentials by her boss, Dr George Moghalu, sarat Braimah wakes up each day with eyes clearly set for tomorrow and oblivious to yesterday’s testimonials. Lagos is Africa’s fifth biggest economy, with a population of 22million people boxed in a tiny land mass, surrendered by over 50 littoral communities, making movement of persons, goods and services a difficult task.
To sarat Braimah, great solutions are born out of difficulties, particularly for Niwa, the federal regulatory agency in charge water transportation and sundry brown water growth, hardly factored as care givers by Nigerians and it many political publics.
Perception of Niwa which has become a national discuss must be strategically addressed and this Amazon of the waters, born in kwara and married to a lagosian, knew that uncommon solution is the answer to the search for another alternative window to arrest the drift of horrendous Lagos traffic as a cemetery to businesses and the 22 million people living therein.
Having cleaned up tail ends of illegal dredging and supervised methodical removals of wreck and debris on waterways in Lagos from Badagry to ikorodu, sarat Braimah also set out to make the littoral communities in the state, the real owners of the water economy.
She insists that businesses on the brown water economy must carry the people along, visit their requests and fear of tomorrow with human face, giving back not just for mere business protocols but to drive sustainable development and partnership.
She is convinced that the people must not be distanced from government policy effort to reform water transportation and sundry developmental agenda in Lagos.
Under her watch and with very listening and supportive back up by the revolutionary leadership of Dr George Moghalu, the managing director of Niwa, great strides and verifiable evidence has become the fulcrum powering the new face of NIWA activities in this city of aquatic splendour.
The break through of the hour is the provision of alternate water transportation routes to and out of lagos island, not excluding to any part of lagos. Until, the closure of the third mainland bridge, putting fingers to the water as road was merely left to general definition, lacking reality and sustainable pattern.
In less than two days before the iconic bridge was flagged down to traffic, Sarat Braimah took to the waters, well guided by the regime and mandate, focal to niwa operational responsibilities, identified and immediately launched floating jetties in oworoshonki, Adekunle under the third mainland bridge, oyingbo and at the waterfront in lekki phase one, platforms set to get lagosians embracing the new normal in moving around in Lagos.
An instant hit and evidently sure to revolutionize optimal use of the vast water body laying fallow years on end, sarat Braimah has sworn to push for a bankable use of the waterways as roads not only for passenger services but for cargo movement and tourist recreation.
Though a lean resources posses fearful challenge, sarat Braimah dreams to open the Waterways in lagos to investors and investment, convinced that the Waterways is yet to enjoy some level of confidence as key revenue earner and enhancer of job opportunities. Thus, sarat Braimah brims with winning initiatives to change the narrative.
A devoted Muslim and very compassionate, the Lagos area manager of Niwa believes so much lay beneath the vast Nigerian waterways, and to which must be seen as natural solution driver to national integration and development across board.
Yes, she has Dr George Moghalu, to thank for the push to reset the niwa timeline in putting the people in lagos first in every regulatory presence, her prayers is to get all stakeholders to share in the glory of making the Waterways as roads for refreshing economic and social development.
A maritime Amazon to watch, sarat Braimah is set for the challenges of our time as nation and if she continues to enjoy the confidence and support of her boss, it is certain that the 22 million residents of lagos will join to sing the late fela single hit song, “ water no get enemy”.