Government pledges efficient utilisation of inland waterways
The Federal Government has assured of a commitment to efficient utilisation of the inland waterways, in line with the transport sector transformation agenda.
The Managing Director, National Inland Waterways Authority (NIWA), George Moghalu, made this commitment at his resumption of office.
Moghalu promised to continue with all ongoing viable and justifiable projects of the agency as long they conform to due process and the Act establishing it.
He noted that the overall policy objectives of NIWA are transforming the Inland Waterways to make them not just economically viable but also to provide a safe, reliable and alternate transport system to ease the problem of transportation and movement of goods across the country.
This, he said makes the agency an important and strategic one, with key responsibilities that are critical to the economy.
“Inland Waterways system is a critical component of the national freight system, particularly for the movement of bulk commodities. In view of the growing transportation needs particularly in moving bulk commodities, our country dearly needs the diversification and development of its critical infrastructure in the area of Waterways transportation,” he said.
The former Acting Managing Director, Danladi Ibrahim, while handing over to Moghalu said within his period of acting, he succeeded in commencing the process of procuring self-propel barge with the capacity of carrying 60 number 40-feet containers.
He noted that this is to set the pace as government in moving bulk cargo from Nigerian seaports to the hinterlands through the River Ports at Onitsha and Baro, to convince private investors that the inland waterways transportation is doable and viable.
He said during the period, NIWA also procured additional dredgers to carry out in-house maintenance dredging of navigable channels, to cut cost for the government.
Ibrahim added that the management is about to conclude the procurement process of procuring buoys in continuation of providing navigational aids from Lokoja to Onitsha, to ensure safety on the waterways.