NIWA promises navigation of all waterways
The National Inland Waterways Authority (NIWA) has vowed to ensure that the nation’s waterways are all year round navigated to boost maritime business and grow the economy.
Managing Director of NIWA, Dr. George Muoghalu, said that out of 10,000 kilometres of Nigeria’s waterways, only 3,600 are all year round navigated.
He said the authority had been engaging the security agencies, especially the Nigerian Navy, to fight insecurity in waterways to ensure it is secured and safe for use.
Muoghalu stated this during a facility tour of the Nigerian Naval shipyard in Port Harcourt to ascertain the level of preparedness of a Port Harcourt-based dredging company, Nwakama Dredgers, to work with the authority as part of its local content development.
He said: “We are already venturing into the area of insecurity. We are National Inland Waterways Authority. Our principal responsibility is to ensure that our waterways are all year round navigated. We all know from records that we have over 10,000 kilometres of waterways and just about 3,600 are all year round navigated.
“So, we want to ensure that the waterways are all year round navigated. The issue of insecurity in the waterways has been there and is being addressed.
We have marine police whose primary responsibility is to protect the waterways and we are engaging the security agencies, such as the Nigerian Navy, to play the expected role so that at the end of the day, our waterways will be very safe.
“We are appreciative and conscious of the fact that the waterways have a lot of potentials in our transportation industry by the way of cargo movement and even passengers’ movement. So, we are very conscious of that. It is our hope to make waterways the right choice of transportation. That is the ambition we have and we are pursuing it gradually.”
He said that his visit to Port Harcourt was to see things for himself and explore areas of partnership with stakeholders in maritime industry, adding that the future is bright for Nigerian companies sequel to the Nigerian Local Content law.
Earlier, the Superintendent of the Nigerian Naval Shipyard, Navy Commodore Bolaji Olederu, said that the Naval Shipyard had a world class facilities that would help it carry out its responsibility for the Navy and larger maritime community.