February 27, 2020

My vision is to make waterways transportation safest — Moghalu


A picture taken on May 23, 2019 shows the Ogun River overtaken by water hyacinths, an invasive aquatic plant, in southwest Nigeria. – Traffic jams on the snarled up roads of Nigeria’s megacity of Lagos are legendary, but a growing problem is also clogging up the waterways of Africa’s biggest city — water hyacinths. The spread of the invasive species of fast-growing plant is not only damaging transport links in Nigeria’s economic capital, built on a lagoon dotted with islands. (Photo / AFP)

By Emem Idio

Managing Director and Chief Executive Officer of National Inland Waterways Authority, NIWA, Dr. George Moghalu, has said he has been working to identify the core challenges facing the country’s waterways and address them.

Moghalu noted that NIWA, under his watch, has been able to reorient new thinking to make waterways transportation the transport means of trust in the shortest possible time

According to him, as part of efforts to safety on the nation’s inland waterways, a memorandum of understanding had been signed with a firm to provide life jackets across all waterfronts in the country.

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Speaking at Bayelsa State operational office in Yenagoa on Thursday, as part of its nationwide tour of NIWA state offices, he noted that the authority had begun the enforcement of the use of permits by boat operators to ensure that only waterways-worthy boats ply the waterways.

He said: “Today we are clearing water debris and water hyacinths on some of our channels. We are doing the much we can to standardise the process and have clear data on those that operate on our waterways.

“As I speak, we have signed a memorandum with a firm that is going to provide life jackets across our waterfronts in the country because of our consideration for security.

“We have started the training process in some of our locations for boat operators and drivers so we can get them to understand what we are doing. We are going to play our clear regulatory roles and enforce the use of permits before boats can enter our waterways.

“We cannot allow rickety boats to waste the lives of Nigerians.”