Established in 1996

Structured for Efficiency

The National Inland Waterways Authority (NIWA), hitherto Inland Waterways Department (IWD) of the Federal Ministry of Transport, metamorphosed into an Authority vide an act of the National Assembly, CAP 47, Laws of the Federation of Nigeria (LFN), 2004 (Decree No. 13 of 1997), established with the primary responsibility to improve and develop Nigeria’s inland waterways for navigation
improve and develop inland waterways for navigation:
provide an alternative mode of transportation for the evacuation of economic goods and persons: and
execute the objectives of the national transport policy as they concern inland waterways
NIWA is deliberately structured to run like a well-oiled machine and deliver on its core functions to the satisfaction of stakeholders in the waterways subsector of the Nigerian economy Industrial Template continues to grow ever day thanks to the confidence our clients have in us. We cover many industries such as oil gas, energy, business services, consumer products.

To provide regulatory, economical and operational leadership in the Nation’s Inland Waterways system and develop infrastructural facilities for an efficient intermodal transportation system in line with global best practices that is safe, seamless and affordable.

Our Mission

To make Nigeria the leader in inland water Transportation, development and management in Africa.

Our Vision

Area Offices
1 KM
Navigable Watwerways
1 KM
General Waterways
National Assembly, CAP 47, Laws of the Federation of Nigeria (LFN), 2004 (Decree No. 13 of 1997)

Powers & Functions of the Authority

The law establishing NIWA gave it the following statutory roles:
improve and develop inland waterways for navigation:
Ensure development of infrastructural facilities for a national inland waterways connectivity with economic centers using the River Ports and nodal points for inter-nodal exchanges;
Ensure the development of indigenous technical and managerial skills to meet the challenges of modern inland waterways transportation;There are several other functions and powers of the authority properly enunciated and documented in laws establishing NIWA (NIWA ACT CAP N47 LFN 2004).
Other functions and powers of the Authority:
undertake capital and maintenance dredging;
undertake hydrological and hydrographic surveys:
design ferry routes:
survey, remove, and receive derelicts, wrecks and other obstructions from in land waterways;
Operate ferry services within the inland waterways system;
undertake installation and maintenance of lights, buoys and all navigational aids along water channels and banks;
issue and control licenses for inland navigation, piers, jellies, dockyards;
examine and survey inland water crafts and shipyard operators;
grant permit and licenses for sand dredging, pipeline construction, dredging of slots and crossing of waterways by utility lines, water intake, rock blasting and removal;
grant licenses to private inland waterway operators;
approve designs and construction of inland river crafts;
approve and control all (i) jetties, dockyards, piers within the inland waterways; (ii) advertising within the right-of-way of the waterways:
reclaim land within the right-of-way;
undertake the construction, administration and maintenance of inland river-ports and jetties;
provide hydraulic structures for river and dams, bed and bank stabilisation, barrages, groynes;
collect river lolls;
undertake the production, publication and broadcasting of navigational publi­cations, bulletins and notices, hydrological year hooks, river charts and river maps;
carry out consultancy and contractual services;
represent the Government of Nigeria at national and international commissions that deal with navigation and inland water transportation;
subject to the provisions of the Environmental Impact Assessment Act, carry out environmental impact assessment of navigation and other dredging activi­ties within the inland water and its right-of-ways;
undertake erection and maintenance of gauges, kilometre boards, horizontal and vertical control marks;
advise government on all border mailers that relate to the inland waters;
undertake acquisition, leasing and hiring of properties;
run cruise boats;
carry out boat repairs, boat construction and dockyard services; and
clear water hyacinth and other aquatic weeds.


years of experience


Our Journey So far

Explore the rich heritage and journey of resilience that defines our organization’s history. From humble beginnings to pioneering achievements, our story is woven with the threads of dedication, innovation, and service to our nation. Delve into our history page to uncover the milestones, challenges, and triumphs that have shaped us into the esteemed institution we are today. Join us in celebrating our past and charting a course towards an even brighter future. Click below to embark on this inspiring journey through time.

Meet Our Leadership

The Managing Director/Chief Executive is responsible for the execution of the policies of the Authority and the day to day running of the affairs of the authority amongst other responsibilities. Each Department is headed by a General Manager, who reports to the Managing Director/CEO.
National Assembly, CAP 47, Laws of the Federation of Nigeria (LFN), 2004 (Decree No. 13 of 1997)

Departments and Functions

The Engineering Services Department is directly concerned with NIWA statutory responsibility to provide a minimum requirement for all year round – navigation by increasing the waterways carrying capacity and safety for bulk cargoes transport by barges and other river going vessels.

Engineering Services Department is charged with the responsibility of overseeing the major programmes of the Authority such as Dredging and River Training Works, River Ports and Jetties Development, General River Engineering and other Civil Works of the Authority.

Its principal duties can be summarized as hereunder:

  • Hydraulics/Hydrological Engineering
  • Capital and Maintenance Dredging
  • Sedimentological Studies
  • Morphological Studies
  • Ports, Jetties and Ramp Developments.
  • Project Management & Consultancy Services
The Marine Department is one of the eight departments presently in the Authority and one of the main Operations departments.

The Department has two main divisions:
  • Dockyard Services; and
  • Navigation Services.

Under the dockyard services are the Marine Engineering activities in general that is the maintenance of the two dockyards at Warri and Lokoja; and all other workshops. Under the Navigation Division are clearing of wrecks/derelicts, running operation of all river crafts and Pollution Control Unit which is responsible for the clearing of Aquatic weeds including water hyacinth and other pollution control activities.
The Survey Department is a technical operation department of the Authority. The functions of the department are anchored to the statutory roles and functions of the Authority.

The Survey Department provides all land and hydrographic surveying products and services, and any other related services that are vital for actualizing the National Transport Policy and NIWA’s corporate objectives.

The Department has the following sections to carry out its activities:

  • Hydrographic Section – this section handles the determination of water depth, contours along the bottom, the direction of the current, water discharge, water level marks, underwater and shore landmarks that may aid in navigation the waterways.
  • Lands Section – this section handles cadastral activities which includes those within the right-of-way.
  • Remote Sensing / Cartographic / Geographic Information System (GIS) Section – handles information system designed to capture, store, manipulate, analyze, manage, and present all types of spatial data.
  • Buoyage Section – handles the specifications, deployment and retrieval of systems of buoys and sinkers required for the marking of waterway channels for safe navigations.
  • Patrol & Waterways Section – provides information on security situations of waterways, marine emergencies, waterways infrastructures such as traffic signs and symbols.
  • Radio & Wireless Section – responsible for collating and disseminating river information for safe navigations.
Ports & Environmental
The Department provides essential services to NIWA’s marine and infrastructural assets, such as ports and terminals, on the nation’s navigable waterways. It coordinates the Authority’s operations in a manner to bring about safe, secure and environmentally friendly water transportation system and related ones. Its core functions include:

  • Cargo handling, Storage/warehousing of merchandise and estate services, Ferry services, Transhipment, stevedoring, Vessel operation, towing, Slipway services,Provide and run fire-fighting system, vessel and land-based, Berthing and mooring of vessels, Provide inland access and intermodal connections, Pilotage; Water intake for sea-going vessels, Ensure compliance to domestic status and international standards, for example: ISPS Code, SOLAS, MARPOL, Rule of the Road, and so on; Represents the Authority on all issues concerning marine terminals; Involvement in procurement of marine terminal facilities and related equipment Administration of daily river tolls, Administration of sea-going vessel having shelter in inland waters; Administration of manifest system al all loading bases for commercial watercraft for a given voyage, Documentation and certification of private dockyards.
  • Design, construction and maintenance of Ports/ Terminals, Wharves/ Quays Jetties, Ramps Anchorages, Port buildings, Office buildings, Residential buildings, Commercial/ business buildings etc
HR and Admin
The Administration Department of the Authority is statutorily and largely made up of the following divisions: -

  • Appointments, promotions and discipline (APD)
  • Training/staff welfare
  • Pension/gratuity
  • Registry/Records
  • Area Offices co-ordinations.
  • Anti-corruption and transparency

The basic functions and responsibilities of the Department is:

  • Co-ordinate the appointment of new staff, promotion, upgrading and conversion of existing/serving staff;
  • Handle all training proposals and programmes of the Authority;
  • Enforce rules and regulations concerning the Authority as they relate to staff behaviour;
  • Co-ordinate and implement staff welfare scheme(s);
  • Maintenance of staff records (i.e. Nominal Roll).
  • Control the transport unit/pool vehicles.
  • Co-ordinate all matters relating to preparations and updating of the Authority’s Conditions of Service and Scheme of Service.
Finance and Accounts
The Finance and Accounts Department is headed by a General Manager and supported by a Deputy General Manager, two (2) Assistant General Managers, a Principal Manager, a Senior Manager, two (2) Managers and other staff members. The Department is made up of Seven Sections namely: Cash Office, Salary, Expenditure, Checking, Final Account, Revenue and Investments.

Functions of the department:

  • Processing and Payment of Salary and Wages
  • Reconciliation of Bank Accounts for the Authority’s transactions with Banks
  • Processing and Payments of Contracts and Staff Claims
  • Preparation of various monthly Accounting Reports
  • Collection and Monitoring of Internally Generated Revenue (IGR)
  • Preparation and Processing of all Payment Vouchers in readiness for Payment
  • Handling of all Tax matters with Federal Inland Revenue Services, State and Local Government Tax Offices in the Country
  • Processing Payments and Remittances of Operating Surplus and other imposed remittances by the Federal Government
  • Any other duties that may be assigned by the Managing Director/Accounting Officer of the Authority
In line with the Public Procurement Act of 2007, the Procurement Department of the Authority was set up in February, 2007 with a view to ensuring that the procurement functions of the Authority are carried out in conformity with the relevant statutory regulations.

Statutory Roles:
The Department is mandated to:
  • Harmonize existing government policies and practices on Public Procurement to ensure probity, accountability and transparency;
  • Establish pricing standards and benchmarks;
  • Ensure the application of fair, competitive, transparent, value-for-money standards and practices for the procurement and disposal of public assets and services;
Area Offices Co-ordination
The Area Offices Coordination Department is responsible for the monitoring of the activities of the Area Offices and report back to the Managing Director, handling all issues relating to revenue collection on field activities from Area Offices including challenges and prospects, design newer and better approaches to revenue drive and collaborate with security agencies, liaise with Human Resources Department for staff posting and personnel of Area offices, preview, coordinating and managing NIWA regulation on Tariffs, rates and dues in conjunction with the Area Office and Legal Department, amongst others.
Internal Audit
The Unit reports directly to the Managing Director. It carries out day-to-day prepayment of all expenditure and advise the Managing Director on matters relating to Auditing the operation of the Authority.

The Unit is also responsible for quarterly monitoring of projects and revenues in all the Authority’s locations across the country.

The Internal Audit co-ordinate issues relating to External Audit matters and Public Accounts Committee of the National Assembly.

Functions and Responsibilities:

  • To ensure effective control on the operations and Accountability for all funds, property and other resources for which the Authority responsible
  • Ensure that proper internal control systems are in place to take care of fraud, and other abuses.
  • The Unit ensure that reliability and dependability of information and data and enhanced.
  • To ensure sound policy are in place for both financial and non-financial resources to form the basis of decisions by the Management
  • The Internal Audit carry out the verification of Assets and ensure the stocktaking of such assets.
  • The Unit ensure the monitoring of projects. It equally monitors revenue collection and ensure the payment of same into Government Accounts
  • The Internal Audit also carry out post Payment audit of the books of Accounts.
  • Carry Out and other duties assigned by the Chief Executive.
Business Development & Investment
The Business Development Department was created to explore avenues of optimizing value of the Authority’s assets as well as explore new frontiers It has as key functions:

  • To develop business and marketing strategies in accordance with the Authority’s vision, and mission, to achieve service and revenue goals.
  • To serve as a liaison/interface between the Authority and Concessionaires and other Public Private Partnership activities.
  • Identification of rising business needs.
  • Raising bonds for new projects.
  • Perform market research to identify new opportunity (ies) and engage with Management to establish strategies for pursuing these new opportunities. Initiate and sustain good customer relationship with clients.
  • Develop and deliver pitches for potential investors.
  • Overseeing and development of marketing literatures.
  • Negotiation of sales or licensing arrangement with prospective investors.
  • Documentation and record keeping of business transactions.
  • Computation of current and past financial data to cut costs, and increase business activities. Engaging in business activities, sales displays and exhibitions.
  • Adopting services and functions in response to changing commercial requirement within local content.
  • Carrying out third party consultancy services in hydrographic, buoyage and projects surveying. Performing such other related duties as may be assigned.
Legal Services
The Legal Services Unit is one of the units under the Managing Director being coordinated by the General Manager Legal Services/Company Secretary & Legal Adviser. The Unit has 8 Officers and is statutorily and largely charged with the following:-

  • To render Legal Advice and provide effective operational solutions for the Authority.
  • Participate in negotiations and drafting of Contract Agreements.
  • To develop a Standard Contract and Proceeding in accordance with Due Process etc.
Corporate Affairs
The unit is under the office of the Managing Director. It performs its statutory responsibilities as follows:
  • managing the overall corporate affairs of the Authority
  • Offering advice to the management in Public affairs and protocols
  • ensuring cordial relationship between the media and the Authority
  • Printing/Publishing of in-house newsletters, brochures, pamphlets, journals etc
Project Management & Special Duties
The Department is responsible for the planning, organization, co-ordination of the Authority’s activities. Its core functions are:

  • Monitoring of all Authority’s projects as captioned in the annual budget.
  • Initiate, plan, control, manage and to some extent execute some projects, which will help in knowing the availability of various resources for the Authority’s project Capture project requests and ensure each of those requests have enough relevant information that can aid in the assessment of that project.
  • Preparing templates for verification, monitoring and evaluation of the Authority’s projects.
  • To advise the Authority on the cheapest approach to execute projects. This will guarantee efficiencies and management of costs.
  • To carry out routine visits to all NIWA formations together with relevant department project needs prior to budget preparation and at various stages of implementation.
  • Verification of all Authority’s projects to ascertain the level of work done and compliance to work rules and schedules.
  • Formation, upgrading and maintenance of Project Management Database for projects of the Authority.
  • Handling functions of Ad-hoc nature
  • All renovation works, intervention or emergency projects.
  • Implementation of the Authority’s constituency project domiciled in the office of the Managing Director and any other special duty(ies) as may be assigned by the MD/CEO.
  • Acting as the Authority’s ombudsman.
  • Coordinating response to emergency.
Reasearch, Planning & Statistics
The department of Planning, Research and Statistics, headed by a director is the repository base of the Authority. It coordinates the activities of other Departments by formulating and implementing policies and programs aimed at achieving the Authority’s mandate for the overall development of standardization and quality assurance in Nigeria in a systematic, integrated and coordinated manner.
The department operates through: Planning Division, Budget, Monitoring and Evaluation Division, Information technology Division Research and Statistics Division.

The division of planning is essentially responsible for the articulation, analysis, projection and implementation of development plans of the Authority’s in terms of annual, medium- and long-term plans for the Standardization and quality assurance in Nigeria. It also performs the following functions:

  • Preparation of the Organization’s progress annual report.
  • Analysis of Federal Government policies as they affect Standardization and quality assurance.
  • Coordination of the strategic development plans.
  • Liaise with relevant establishments within and outside Nigeria in pursuance of the functions of the Organization
  • Develop work plan for the Organization.

The major function of the division is preparation of annual budgets of the Authority and periodic assessment of the performance of the projects and programs of the Authority. The division has the responsibility to develop Monitoring Template Questionnaires. Other Activities of the Division are:

  • Regularly monitor, evaluate and coordinate the implementation of the Ministry’s projects
  • Collaborates with other Organs of Government and stakeholders to carry out its monitoring activities.
  • Provides avenue for the Director to meet with the Head of Units
  • Preparation of annual budget.

This division oversees records of the Organization. It is made up of Statistics, Research and documentation. The division performs the following roles:
  • To produce, process, store and disseminate timely information and reliable Ministry of Interior Operational data.
  • To establish a well harmonized and rationalized organizational framework for Ministry of Interior Data generation and information
  • To provides a framework for socio-economic research, relating to monitoring Standardization of the Ministry.
  • Undertake and coordinate research programs on the acquisition, deployment and rational use of standardization, quality assurance, conformity assessment and metrology activities.
  • Compile and publish relevant data resulting from performance of functions of the Authority.

Information Communication Technology (ICT) Services Unit was established in Planning Research and Statistics Department of the Authority to specifically drive the delivery of innovative technology solutions and support services towards ensuring that all departments within Authority can access ICT resources to optimize their respective functions:
  • Provide a sustainable enterprise-wide information system in the Authority that will enhance fast, easy and cheap access to information within and outside the Authority.
  • Provide maintenance services on all Hardware, Software, Local Area Network (LAN) and other ICT related infrastructure of the Ministry.
  • Ensure the confidentiality, integrity and accountability of the Ministry’s information.
  • Maintain an update the Authority’s website and provide unhindered connectivity to the global information community.
  • Support other service-wide projects that share or collaborate information process with the Authority.
  • Offer technical support to Departments, Units, Sections and individual user.
  • Advice the management at all levels on the need for constant update of ICT infrastructure.
  • Supervise the implementation of ICT capital projects for the Authority
  • Represent the Authority on all ICT related Fora.
Securing our waterways

Inland Waterways Police Command

Recently repositioned and energised, the Inland waterways Police Command (IWPC) continues to develop strategies for sustained and guaranteed security for the Authority. The Command was established under the National Inland Waterways Authority Acts No. 47 LFN 2004, with a mandate to provide buffer and protective support to the management and staff NIW
Headed by a Deputy Commissioner of Police (DCP), the IPWC is the law enforcement arm of the Authority. Among other functions, the Command also:
  • Helps the Authority enforce its enabling NIWA Act 2004 LFN.
  • Provides escort duty for the members and management of the organization.
  • Secures the waterways and the Authority’s vessels.
  • Provides security for those engaged by the authority along the waterways.
  • Ensures adequate security NIWA facilities in all the area offices across the nation.
  • Performs miscellaneous support duties as may be directed by the Managing Director.