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Maritime agencies to tackle security, safety challenges on inland waterways

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Managing Director of the National Inland Waterways Authority, NIWA, Dr George Moghalu has said the maritime agencies had resolved to collaborate to ensure security and safety on inland waterways in order to improve transportation on water in the country.

The managing director disclosed this to journalists in Lokoja at the end of the third monthly meeting of chief executives of maritime agencies, saying the essence of the meeting was to cross fertilise ideas to make waterways navigable.

He stated that the chief executives of the maritime agencies deliberated on issues bordering on “maritime security, safety, capacity building and enforcement of security protocols” to reduce the rate of boat mishaps and other vices on the nation’s waterways.

He stressed further that the agencies had to put in place an effective water transportation system in view of the positive impact it would make on the economy, especially as it would reduce ports congestion and haulage of heavy duty goods through the nation’s roads.

Moghalu added that the CEOs therefore constituted a committee on multimodal approach to cargo delivery on the waterways in order to enhance seaport and dry-port operations.
“This is our routine meeting which from the point when we started, is aimed at building synergy by coming together, taking our policies together and then see how we can work together for the benefit of our nation, Nigeria.

“We are looking at what we can do to harmonize 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.

The NIWA MD hinted further that last week, the Nigerian Maritime Administration and Safety Agency, NIMASA, organised a “world class safety and security conference” in the country in its bid to stem the tide of the incidents of boats mishaps on the waterways.

He therefore enjoined the citizens to play roles expected of them and adhere to basic rules and regulations laid down by NIWA, stressing that the incessant boat mishaps on waterways was as a result of non-compliance by boat owners.

Among others, the meeting was also attended by Nigerian Railway Corporation, NRC, Nigerian Customs Service, NIMASA, Shippers Council and the Federal Ministry of Transport.

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