NIWA MD Moghalu, seeks Collaboration with Nigerian Navy to tackle insecurity on Waterways
The Managing Director/Chief Executive Officer, National Inland Waterways Authority, Dr George Moghalu has sought the support of the Nigerian Navy to boost water transportation and movement of cargo to enhance trade.
Moghalu who stated this when he visited the Chief of Naval Staff Vice Admiral Awwal Gambo in Abuja, said the visit was to request support from the Navy to provide security for the movement of cargo on Nigeria waters.
He said “I will stand bold enough to tell you that waterway transportation is the way to go. So, what we need to do, and that’s what we’re trying to do, is to get people to key into this narrative. To key into our vision of making waterways transportation a transport of choice and that’s what we’re doing.
“Because it is only the importers that tell you how he wants the goods to be moved, he can insist I want to move by land. so, you need to convince him of the alternative to move it by water.
“But what is for us to do, we need to put the infrastructure in place, making sure that we have safe passage, making sure that the baggies are available, making sure that the goods and the baggies are all insured so that nobody will have anyone to blame at the end of the day. So, these are basic things we are trying to put in order.”.
Moghalu said the nation will gain a lot from water transportation but lamented challenges inhibiting its development.
He said, “There’s quite a lot Nigerians stand to gain because by the time we start moving cargo by water. I’m one of those that have said from the point of my appointment if there’s any legacy I want to make, is to make water transportation, a transport means of choice both for cargo and national transportation.
“To achieve that, we require the support of the navy to provide the needed Security for us to be able to move cargo from point A to point B and that has been the major concern of most of the importers who are aligning with us, who are collaborating with us to make sure that we bring into reality, this project we want to do.
Furthermore, he said “We also have other collaborative relationships like the issue I mentioned before, the hydrography. For example, now there’s a collaboration between NIWA,, the Nigerian navy and the NEXIM bank on carrying out the survey from the River Benue down to Burutu River, through Onitsha. It has to do with the movement of cargo within Nigerian territory”.
He said insecurity remains a major challenge to water transportation noting, “Yes, we have the NIWA Police, we have the marine police, but one thing I can also give credit to is that in this government everybody is concerned, the issue of insecurity is not a personal business”.
”It is all our business, every agency is committed to it and our Nigerian Navy has been quite supportive, the army, everybody has been quite supportive to make sure we have a safe operative environment”