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.

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.

Structured for Efficiency

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.

The Authority has the following Departments: Engineering, Marine, Survey, Research, Planning and Environment, Finance, Human Resources and Administration, Corporate Affairs, Internal Audit, Legal Services, Procurement, Project Management and Special Duties, Port Services, Area Offices Co-ordination, Business Development and Inland Waterways Police Command.

Each Department is headed by a General Manager, who reports to the Managing Director/CEO.

NIWA also has a Governing Board, which supervises and drives forward the strategic direction of the Authority. The Board is headed by a Chairman.


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:

I. Hydraulics/Hydrological Engineering:
a. Acquisition and processing of hydrological data.
b. Gauge installation and maintenance
c. Design of hydraulic structures,
d. Design of river improvement works; including River Training Works (RTW) and bank stabilization works,
e. River flow measurement.

II. Capital and Maintenance Dredging
a. Channel improvement
b. Restoration of LAD and channel crossings

III. Sedimentological Studies
a. Study of sediment sources and transport
b. Study and survey of bank erosion

IV. Morphological Studies
a. Observation and study of river development and behavior

V. Ports, Jetties and Ramp Developments.
a. Design, construction and maintenance of Ports, Jetties and Ferry Ramps facilities.

VI. Project Management & Consultancy Services

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.

The Department has three (3) divisions:
i. Research
ii. Planning, and
iii. Environment

It is responsible for data gathering, processing and management. The department also handles Policy issues and budget preparations, project monitoring and evaluation. It also takes charge of all environmental issues relating to the Authority’s Projects – Impact Assessment, Monitoring and Mitigation.

Furthermore, the department has responsibility for four (4) other service-wide units:
• Health, Safety and Environment (HSE)
• Public Private partnership (PPP)

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:
i. Harmonize existing government policies and practices on Public Procurement to ensure probity, accountability and transparency;
ii. Establish pricing standards and benchmarks;
iii. Ensure the application of fair, competitive, transparent, value-for-money standards and practices for the procurement and disposal of public assets and services;

The Administration Department of the Authority is statutorily and largely made up of the following divisions:-

i. Appointments, promotions and discipline (APD)
ii. Training/staff welfare
iii. Pension/gratuity
iv. Registry/Records
v. Area Offices co-ordinations
vi. Anti-corruption and transparency

The basic functions and responsibilities of the Department is:
i. Co-ordinate the appointment of new staff, promotion, upgrading and conversion of existing/serving staff;
ii. Handle all training proposals and programmes of the Authority;
iii. Enforce rules and regulations concerning the Authority as they relate to staff behavior;
iv. Co-ordinate and implement staff welfare scheme(s);
v. Maintenance of staff records (i.e. Nominal Roll).
vi. Control the transport unit/pool vehicles.
vii. Co-ordinate the maintenance of all office equipment
viii. Prepare annual personnel budgets;
ix. Co-ordinate all matters relating to preparations and updating of the Authority’s Conditions of Service and Scheme of Service.

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:
(i) Dockyard Services; and
(ii) 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 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:-

1. To render Legal Advice and provide effective operational solutions for the Authority.
2. Participate in negotiations and drafting of Contract Agreements.
3. To develop a Standard Contract and Proceeding in accordance with Due Process etc.

The unit is under the office of the Managing Director. It performs its statutory responsibilities as follows:

1. managing the overall corporate affairs of the Authority
2. Offering advice to the management in Public affairs and protocols
3. ensuring cordial relationship between the media and the Authority
4. Printing/Publishing of in-house newsletters, brochures, pamphlets, journals etc.

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
1. Processing and Payment of Salary and Wages
2. Reconciliation of Bank Accounts for the Authority’s transactions with Banks
3. Processing and Payments of Contracts and Staff Claims
4. Preparation of various monthly Accounting Reports
5. Collection and Monitoring of Internally Generated Revenue (IGR)
6. Preparation and Processing of all Payment Vouchers in readiness for Payment
7. Handling of all Tax matters with Federal Inland Revenue Services, State and Local Government Tax Offices in the Country
8. Processing Payments and Remittances of Operating Surplus and other imposed remittances by the Federal Government
9. Any other duties that may be assigned by the Managing Director/Accounting Officer of the Authority

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.

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,
  • Provide in-house trainings;
  • Organise stakeholders’ meeting/hearing, and local/international seminar/conference
  • Provide inland international shipping, for example: Yelwa – Benin Republic, Calabar Cameroon, and so on
  • Provide consultancy services
  • 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,
  • Organising safety sensitization campaigns
  • Enforcement of maritime safety standards,
  • Channel /pollution control, eg wreck removal; Documentation and certification of watercraft’s operators,
  • Documentation of private jetties
  • Development and running waterfront and adjoining bases for: maritime tourist attraction centres, fishing ports, oil tank farm villages, harbour cities, industrial parks, aquatic stadium, waterfront markets
  • Complementary services to shipping carriers.


Design, construction and maintenance of:

  • Ports/ Terminals, Wharves/ Quays Jetties, Ramps Anchorages etc

Property Development Services (PDS)

  • Port buildings, Office buildings, Residential buildings, Commercial/ business buildings etc

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:
i. To ensure effective control on the operations and Accountability for all funds, property and other resources for which the Authority responsible
ii. Ensure that proper internal control systems are in place to take care of fraud, and other abuses.
iii. The Unit ensure that reliability and dependability of information and data and enhanced.
iv. To ensure sound policy are in place for both financial and non-financial resources to form the basis of decisions by the Management
v. The Internal Audit carry out the verification of Assets and ensure the stocktaking of such assets.
vi. The Unit ensure the monitoring of projects. It equally monitors revenue collection and ensure the payment of same into Government Accounts.
vii. The Internal Audit also carry out post Payment audit of the books of Accounts.
viii. Carry Out and other duties assigned by the Chief Executive.

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

Special Duties Unit of the Department is responsible for:

  • 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.

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.

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 NIWA.

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 to perform jobs along the waterways.
  • Ensures adequate security for and on NIWA facilities in all the area offices across the nation.
  • Performs miscellaneous support duties as may be directed by the Managing Director of the organization.

Our Objectives

  • 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

Our Vision

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

Our Mission

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.


Years of







Inland Waterways Department (IWD) established in Federal Ministry of Transport

NIWA was formerly the Inland Waterways Department (IWD), which was the oldest Operational Department in the Ministry of Transport from 1956 up to late 1997.


IWD metamorphosed into an Authority vide an act of the National Assembly

NIWA was established through CAP 47, Laws of the Federation of Nigeria (LFN), 2004 (Decree No. 13 of 1997) and commenced operations fully in 1998.