By Sylvester Idowu
Managing Director of National Inland Waterways Authority (NIWA), Chief George Moghalu has assured that the agency would henceforth enforce regulations guiding the activities of operators on the nation’s waterways.
He gave the assurance yesterday after inspecting rehabilitated equipment and other facilities at NIWA’s zonal office in Warri, Delta State.
Moghalu said the agency would enforce the use of permits by boat operators to ensure that worn-out boats were not allowed to operate on the waterways.
Aside that, he disclosed that all boat operators would be licensed after screening to ensure that they were properly trained to move boats on waterways and seas, noting that the measures were aimed at saving lives of Nigerians who travel by water.
“We are doing the much we can to first of all standardise the process, having a clear data on those who are operating on our waterways,” he said.
The NIWA Chief Executive also disclosed that the agency had begun the clearing of 10,000 km water channels of debris and hyacinths to ease movement of vessels and boats.
On safety of personnel and passengers, he said NIWA will ensure that nobody boards boats and vessels without wearing life jackets.
Moghalu said the agency had signed a memorandum of understanding with a firm for the provision of life jackets across all waterfronts in the country.
“ We have signed a memorandum of understanding with a firm that is going to provide life jackets across all waterfronts in the country because of our concern for safety and security “, he added.
He commended Igbudu, the host community to NIWA’s yard in Warrior and urged it to continue to cooperate with the management for smooth operations of the agency.
He assured that the youths of the community would benefit immensely, in terms of employment and training, when the agency starts running in full steam.