Onitsha River Port to commence full operation 1st quarter of 2021

The Onitsha River Port would commence full operation by the first quarter of 2021. This was disclosed by the Area Manager of NIWA Area Office Onitsha, Anambra State, Mrs Queen Uba, yesterday during an interactive session with newsmen in Onitsha.

She said that NIWA has been making frantic efforts toward full operation of a port in the South East since Dr George Moghalu assumed office. She also disclosed that the commencement of operation of Onitsha River Port was being put on hold due to the ongoing concessioning process.


“NIWA has put in place all necessary things for effective operation of the port and we are just waiting for the completion of the concession process. “While we are waiting for the completion of the concession process, the management has entered into agreement with Connect Rail Services Limited to kick start the lifting of goods from the port to other places in the country.”


Also speaking at the session, the Onistha River Port Manager, Mr. Baba Spencer said the port was ready for use with all the facilities needed to operate effectively in place.

“While the concession is ongoing, the Connect Rail Services Limited has been contracted to use the port stacking yard as a bonded terminal to kick-start the functionalities of the port operation on temporary basis until the concession is fully concluded.


“When the port commences full operation, it would reduce the cost of moving goods and human from Onitsha to other parts of the country.
“The full operation of the port would promote and increase commercial activities and attract more investors into the state.

“Onitsha River port was built under the administration of President Shehu Shagari in 1983 and since then, it has been lying fallow and completely underutilized until 2012 when it was rehabilitated and commissioned by former President Goodluck Jonathan.

Maritime Agencies Synergise for Safety of Waterways, improved Transportation

The Maritime agencies in the country on Thursday resolved to ensure security and safety on waterways for improved water transportation through adequate collaboration and synergy.

Dr George Moghalu, Managing Director of the National Inland Waterways Authority (NIWA) disclosed this at the end of the Third Monthly Meeting of Chief Executives of Maritime Agencies in Lokoja.

Moghalu said the Chief Executives of the agencies discussed issues relating to maritime security and safety, capacity building and enforcement of security protocols, to reduce the carnage on the nation’s waterways.

“This is our routine meeting which from the point when we started, is aimed at building synergy by coming together, taking our policies together, to see how we can work together for the benefit of our nation, Nigeria.’’

According to him, the CEOs at the meeting constituted a committee on the multimodal approach to cargo delivery, to enhance seaport and dryport operations.

“We are looking at what we can do to harmonise the operations of all maritime agencies in the country to better the maritime industry, especially in the area of movement of cargo between the waterports.’’

He said that there was a need for effective water transportation in view of the positive impact it would make on the economy, in reducing ports congestion and haulage of heavy-duty goods through the roads.

On frequent capsizing of boats and mishaps on the Waterways and safety measures, he noted that only last week, the Nigerian Maritime Administration and Safety Agency/ (NIMASA) organised a “world-class safety and security conference” in the country.

“The Safety issue is not peculiar to our Waterways, we also have security challenges on land but the important thing is that government is conscious of this fact.

“Agencies of government are also conscious of this fact. Gunboats have been acquired, NIMASA is also doing a lot in that direction.’’

Moghalu urged the citizens to play roles expected of them and obey basic rules and regulations laid down by NIWA, as he attributed the incessant boat mishaps to non-compliance by boat riders.

Agencies present at the meeting included NIWA, NIMASA, Nigeria Customs Service, Nigeria Railway Corporation (NRC), Shippers Council and the Federal Ministry of Transport, among others. (NAN)

NIWA Commissions 36 Seater Ferry Boat at Yelwa-Yauri, Kebbi State

The National Inland Waterways Authority (NIWA) has commissioned a 36 seater ferry boat at Yelwa – Yauri, Kebbi State.

In his opening remarks, The Managing Director of NIWA, Chief Dr. George Moghalu thanked God for the opportunity given to the Authority to procure the 36 seater ferry boat on behalf of Senator Bala Ibn Na’Allah as part of his constituency project.

The MD appreciated the distinguished Senator for his commitment and desire to create the enabling environment for water transportation to grow. Moghalu also acknowledged the kind support given to NIWA by the Yauri Emirate council in fulfilling its official responsibilities.

He further stated that the importance of water transportation could not be over emphasized for both facilitating the transportation of cargos and personnel in strengthening Nigeria’s economy and at the same time exploring tourism potentials of water transportation.

The MD appealed to the government of Kebbi State to encourage NIWA by assisting it to ensure companies, organizations and the public using NIWA’s right of way, which is one hundred metres perpendicular from the point of river, pay their legitimate fees.

In his speech, Sen. Bala Ibn Na’Allah promised to bring more developments to his people as the ferry being commissioned is just the beginning, as two more ferries are on their way coming, one from Lagos and the other from China. He also said, in addition to the Jetties he has built before in the area, he is also planning in conjunction with NIWA to build a ferry terminal.

Thereafter, the Emir of Yelwa – Yauri, HRH. Dr. Muhammed Zayyanu Abdullahi (CON) cut the tape to commission the new ferry boat and there was a boat ride in compliance with the Covid-19 safety protocols.

Earlier, the Managing Director paid a courtesy call to the Emir of Yauri, in which during the visit the Emir raised three critical issues in the areas of litigations, clearing of water hyacinth/removal of wrecks and the development of the Inland Waterways for the optimum benefit of his people.

Responding, the MD promised to address all the issues raised by the Royal Father.

Signed:
Jibril, Darda’u
Ag. GM (Corporate Affairs)

NIWA MD commiserate with Govt, People and families of Lagos, Benue Boat Mishaps

The management of the National Inland Waterways Authority has warned boat operators to adhere strictly to NIWA safety guidelines or be sanctioned

The authority gave the warning on on Tuesday in a statement signed by the Acting – General Manager Corporate Affairs, Alhaji Jibril Darda’u in Lokoja.

According to the statement: “We would like to use this medium to appeal to the general public, especially waterways’ users, to strictly adhere to NIWA safety guidelines, especially for boat operators, in Lagos and Benue States.

While commiserating with the people, Government and families of the victims of recent boat mishap in Lagos and Benue,the Managing Director, Dr. George Moghalu warned all boat operators in the
country to adhere strictly to inland waterways transportation safety
guidelines.

Moghalu further stated that his reform agenda of inland waterways transportation system under his administration in the country is working towards ensuring a minimal if not free boat mishap on our waterways.

The statement reads in part: “the authority is sad with the recent boat mishaps,which could have been avoided in Lagos and Benue States that claimed so many lives as a result of violating Inland Waterway Transport Safety and guidelines,”the statement concluded.