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)

Access Roads stalling Baro Port from Take off – NIWA MD

The non completion of the major access roads to the multi-million Naira Baro Inland Port in Niger State is stalling its take off, according to the Managing Director of the National Inland Waterways Authority (NIWA), Dr George Moghalu.

While speaking with Journalist on Sunday in Lokoja, Moghalu said the authority is working round the clock by reaching out to appropriate authorities in a bid to get access roads to the facility fixed.

He noted that the port is critical to the operations of the Nigeria’s waterways, especially being a feeder to inland dry ports in Kaduna and others been proposed by the federal government.

Stakeholders have expressed worries over the inability of the federal government to put the Baro port to use more that a year after its commissioning by President Muhammadu Buhari.

The Etsu Nupe, Alhaji Yahaya Abubakar and the Niger State government have recently appealed to the federal government to accelerate work on the main access road from Agaie town in Agaie local government area through Katcha to Baro. Governor Abubakar Sani Bello and the Etsu believed that the port is a key catalyst for trade stimulation and economic development of the North in particular and Nigeria at large.

There are two major access roads to the ancient community – the 55 kilometers Baro/Katcha/Agaie and Baro/Muye linking Gegu on Abuja/Lokoja expressway both of which are in deplorable condition. The federal government had awarded the contract for the Baro/Katcha/Agaie axis. NIWA is also considering the option of approaching the host state government of Niger with the intent of persuading it to collaborate with the federal government on the matter. The Baro port was constructed by a Chinese firm, CGCC Project Limited, at the cost of N5.8 billion. The port boasts of a quay length of 150 metres, cargo stacking yard of 7,000 square metres, a transit shed of 3, 600 square metres and an estimated capacity of 5,000 TEU at a time.

FG committed to completion of Lokoja Inland Port – NIWA MD

The Managing Director of the National Inland Waterways Authority, (NIWA) Dr. George Muoghalu has restated the commitment of the administration of President Muhammadu Buhari to the completion of the Lokoja inland Port.

The MD who gave this hint in Lokoja while answering questions from journalists on Wednesday, who were on visit to the Authority, noted that it is the desire of government to ensure that the Nigeria waterways is Navigable all year round.

He maintained that if the waterways are put to effective use, it will help to reduce pressure on the roads and save the country huge resources being invested in the maintenance of the roads every year.

While expressing concern over the slow pace of work on the Jamata River port in Lokoja, several years after the contract was signed, he said the federal executive council has ordered the review of the contract terms to fast track the completion of the project.

He said the Authority has concluded arrangements to procure additional dredgers to carry out maintenance dredging of the water channels for easy navigation.

Speaking on how to manage the economy after the COVID-19 pandemic, Muoghalu called on government at all levels to gear up for post COVID-19 engagement towards ensuring that the economy is revived to guarantee efficiency.

“The federal and the state Governments has shown capacity in the management of the COVID-19 pandemic. My worry is how to revamp the economy which has been greatly affected by the pandemic.

“The year 2020 appropriation has been adjusted to reflect current realities. My advice to government at all levels is to prepare for the post COVID-19 engagement. We must all join hands together to revive the economy for optimal performance.”

Lagos State House of Assembly overstepping its mandate ― NIWA

The unending face-off between the National inland Waterways Authority ( NIWA) and the Lagos State government over dredging activities may enter another phase as the Federal Government waterways regulatory agency frowned at the attempt by the Lagos State House of Assembly to overstep its mandate on the extant mining laws of the Federal Republic of Nigeria which mandates only NIWA to oversight access through the waterways.

In a letter written to the Lagos State Government and copies mailed to the Secretary to the Government of the Federation, Boss Mustapha and Minister of Transportation, Rotimi Amaechi, NIWA stated that the latest irritation is a sequel to moves by Lagos State House of Assembly to ambush the regulatory powers of NIWA and at the same time interfere in the activities of dredging companies through the composition of a seven-man committee to investigate and make recommendations on dredging activities in Lagos State.

According to the letter signed by the Managing Director of NIWA, Dr George Moghalu on Tuesday, the agency called on the Lagos State government to caution the leadership of it’s State House of Assembly to stop forthwith the current posturing which is a clear breach of a peaceful resolution between NIWA and Lagos State government over a clash of interest on dredging and sundry waterway matters.

Detailing the background to the current impasse, Dr George Moghalu stated that, “As a prelude to the full understanding of the matter under reference, you would recall that there was a recent clash between National Inland Waterways Authority (NIWA) and Lagos State Waterfront and Infrastructure Development during which our staff and indeed companies registered with us were arrested by your staff and arraigned before special offences court, the resolution of that imbroglio I believe is still under consideration.”‘

Warning however that Lagos State House of Assembly attempt may position logs in the ongoing efforts to reach an amicable settlement of vexed issues at hand, the NIWA boss drew the attention of the state government to the extant laws on Minerals and Mining Act of the Federal Republic of Nigeria which clearly states that where there are issues arising from the operations of any licenced operator of the Federal Government, Section 141 of the Act and sections 15, 16 and 17 of the regulation made pursuant to the above Act has made copious provision for its resolution.

Dr George Moghalu further informed the Lagos State government that a ruling of the court of Appeal in Mining cadastral office vs Petroleum and Transport Investment LTD and another (2018) LPEIR 46046 which cleared the air on the vexed issue and further recognizes waterway use permit exclusively within the ambit of NIWA.

“May I in simple words, emphasize that matters within the exclusive list of the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria are outside the legislative competence of the State government as they are within the competence of the National assembly, Dr Moghalu restated, urging the state government to respectfully forward his observation to the leadership of the State House of Assembly.