NIWA appeals to maritime operators over unpaid dues

The National Inland Waterways Authority (NIWA) has appealed to maritime operators to remit their relevant dues to the authority to enhance service delivery.

The Warri Area Manager of NIWA, Mr Shaba Afeso made the appeal on Monday in an interview with the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) in Warri.

Afeso said that a lot of the authority’s clients were not responding properly in terms of remittance of their dues.

According to him, though the authority is committed to providing good services to its clients, that will only be possible when the maritime operators pay their dues promptly.

“We are appealing that our clients should pay up their relevant dues to the authority so that we can serve them better and also contribute our quota to the economy.

“Most of our clients have no reason not to comply with payment, we appreciate their challenges but they should also appreciate our challenges too,’’ Afeso said.

According to him, the dues include, the use of jetties, registration of any kind of vessel plying the Nigeria waterways.

“Others are dues in respect of dredging, Well head cleaning, drilling, installation of Well head, use of right of way, registration of water equipment among others,” he added.

The NIWA chief also identified the abandonment of wrecked vessels and badges on the waterways as another major challenge the authority is contending with.

Afeso said the authority had made public announcement through mass media in Delta, urging owners of the wrecked vessels to evacuate them but to no avail.

“We have informed our clients through radio, television and newspapers in Delta that they should remove their wreckages and we gave them an ultimatum that elapsed in May.

“We made them to know that when we remove the wreckages for them, it will automatically become the properties of the government.

“In the interest of peace, we are still appealing that they should go and remove their wreckages. We have our own checklist of the owners,” he said.

Afeso advised the owners to apply to NIWA for verification of ownership of the wreckages, adding that once it was certified, the owner could proceed and evacuate it from the waterways.

He warned that any that any attempt to circumvent the procedure would attract appropriate sanctions as provided by law.

Source: The Guardian