The new Managing Director of the National Inland Waterways Authority (NIWA), Dr George Moghalu, has promised to continue all ongoing viable and justifiable projects of the agency as long they conform to due process and the Act establishing NIWA.
Moghalu, made this known at NIWA headquarters in Lokoja, while delivering his speech shortly after he assumed office as the substantive head of the agency.
He pointed out that the overall policy objectives of NIWA was to transform the inland waterways to make them not just economically, viable but also to provide a safe, reliable and alternate transport system to ease the problem of transportation and movement of goods across the country.
This, he stated, makes the agency an important and strategic one adding that, “This places on us a huge responsibility from which so much is expected.”
“Inland waterways system is a critical component of the national freight system, particularly for movement of bulk commodities.
“In view of the growing transportation needs particularly in moving bulk commodities, our country dearly needs diversification and development of its critical infrastructures in the area of Waterways transportation,” he said.
Speaking earlier, the acting MD, Danladi Ibrahim, while handing over to the Moghalu, said within the period of acting capacity he succeeded in commencing the process of procuring self-propel barge with the capacity of carrying 60 and 40ft containers.
He noted that it was to set the pace as government in moving bulk cargo from Nigerian seaport to the hinterland through the River Ports at Onitsha and Baro, to convince private investors that the inland waterways transportation is doable and viable.
He also stated that during the period NIWA procured additional dredgers to carry out in-house maintenance dredging of navigable channels, to cut cost for the government.
The former acting MD also said the management was about to conclude the procurement process of procuring buoys in continuation of providing navigational aids from Lokoja to Onitsha to ensure safety on the Waterways.