The Managing Director, National Inland Waterways Authority (NIWA) Dr. George Moghalu has said that the Authority is set to commence issuing of licenses to vessels and boats operating on Nigerian waterways.
The NIWA MD however assured that this would not lead to double taxation on the part of the operators. He promised to iron out all overlapping functions that has to do with revenue collection with Nigerian Ports Authority (NPA) and other agencies.
Moghalu stated this at a stakeholders meeting in Eket, Akwa Ibom State on Monday. He said, the move to issue Licenses to vessels would help regulate the operations of vessels/boats, as well as other business activities on the water right of ways
According to him, NIWA is taking the issue of security on the inland waters veryseriously, he revealed that the agency now has a Deputy Commiasioner of Police as head of the security, and that the Inspector General of Police, Mohammed Adamu has promised to release additional personnel to strengthen NIWA security directorate.
On the issue of facilities at the area office, Dr Moghalo assured that, he would do everything within his power to give it a face-lift, while partnering the state government on access roads.
While reiterating the agency’s readiness to enforce safety on waterways said, NIWA had signed an MoU with a firm to provide life jackets to water operators across the country waterways, as well as embark on enlightenment campaigns on television and radio.
The NIWA boss said his visit to the Akwa Ibom Area Office was to acquaint himself with the situation on ground, and meet the stakeholders in the sector saying that, he would want to build an end – to end relationship with the stakeholders.
Speaking, he said ” it would be unfair if you task the stakeholders unnecessarily because, they are also helping to provide employment, as government alone cannot carry out the burden of unemployment in the country.
“What we do is to help the private sector to grow so that, the problem of unemployment is solved”.
”Safety on our waterways is a major concern and the Nigerian Navy have been very cooperative in addressing the issue of piracy as well as providing safety”
“Not long ago, there was a safety conference in Abuja organized by NIMASA, where several countries of the world were in attendance to fashion out solutions to water safety.
” NIWA today, has a DCP as head of the security, and IGP, Mohammed Adamu has promised to release additional personnel to strengthen our security directorate”.