FG to Launch Dredging of 162km Ajaokuta-Onitsha Waterways

The Nigerian Minister of Transportation, Rotimi Amaechi, has disclosed plans by the federal government to launch the dredging of the 162 km Ajaokuta-Onitsha waterways on April 28, in Kogi.

Addressing newsmen in Abuja on Tuesday, Amaechi said that the dredging was an initiative of the National Inland Waterways Authority (NIWA).

The Minister commended the Managing Director of NIWA for the initiative, adding that already, the organisation had mobilised its dredgers to carry out maintenance dredging on the Ajaokuta-Onitsha waterways, to ensure smooth navigation of barges and vessels.

“This is a good idea; the NIWA Boss tries to get back our old dredgers to do the dredging by ourselves, not by contract, because we do not have money to award contract.

“Those companies that can use barges can move their freight; it is 2.5 metres raft. We just want the waterways to be navigable,’’ the minister said.

He said that the move would go a long way in facilitating the transportation of freight to the eastern part of the country.

The first phase of the project would include 80 metres radius from the ramp, 250 metres upstream and 50 metres down stream.

Source: Daily Post

NIWA Moves to Address Menace of Boat Mishaps

The National Inland Waterways Authority (NIWA) in collaboration with Enviroplus+ Associate Ltd has inaugurated the National Waterways Emergency Preparedness and Response Unit to address the challenge of boat mishaps that usually occur on the waterways.

The NIWA area manager, Mrs. Christy Hastu, said in Lokoja yesterday during the inauguration/sensitization programme for stakeholders in waterways transportation that the response unit would help in rapid response to emergency cases in order to save more lives.

Hastu said waterways stakeholders, especially boat operators, were sensitized on the need to use standard boats, as well as adhere strictly to carrying only the number of passengers which their boats are designed for.

The area manager attributed some causes of boat mishaps on the nation’s waterways to the use of substandard boats and overloading by vessel operators.

The Head, Projects and Programmes, Enviroplus+ Associates Ltd, Mr. Olubankole Omokivie, urged boat drivers and their passengers to wear life jackets before embarking on journeys through the waterways.

Enviroplus+ is consulting for NIWA in the training of operators in the waterways to ensure they imbibe the best practices that would guarantee safety on the waterways