By Innocent Orok
The Managing Director of National Inland Waterways Authority (NIWA), Dr George Moghalu has called on the Nigerian investors to invest in the several potentials that are available in Nigeria waterways.
Dr Moghalu made the call during a stakeholders meeting held in Lagos on Friday to rob minds with the various stakeholders on how to make NIWA perform optimally.
He said the Lagos stakeholders meeting is the 12th in the series, having held same in Abeokuta, Calabar and the rest, saying all the meetings are to address the challenges in our Waterways.
The NIWA boss said when he was appointed four months ago he gave himself a year target to use water transportation to move bulk cargoes from the ports and that he will make sure that is achieve.
He said within his four months in office, the Authority has started clearing water hyacinths, removal of wrecks, remolding of the Lagos shoreline base and construction of six new jetties.
Moghalu also said that the Baro port in Niger state and Onitsha port in Anambra State are 100% completed. While that of Oguta in Imo State is 60% completed and that the agency is sourcing for funds to make sure the Oguta river port is completed as soon as possible.
On the conflicts between NIWA and the Lagos State Government, the NIWA boss said he held a meeting with the Governor of Lagos State, Mr Babajide Sanwo-olu and that all the complains and areas of conflicts will be resolved. The same goes to some complains by stakeholders from the Nigerian Ports Authority (NPA).
On security of the waterways , Moghalu said the authority is collaborating with the police to strengthen the security on our Waterways.
He said on safety , he has placed ban on night and early morning voyages by boat operators as according to him, most of the accidents occurred either in the nights or early mornings.
While on training of the agency staff, he said the NIWA is find tunning the Lagos and Port Harcourt training schools so that NIWA staff will be properly trained before they are deployed to work onboard vessels.
Nigeria has over 10,000km of waterways and 28 States can be access through water.