As part of Implementation of its Lagos-Onitsha Project, the National Inland Waterways Authority (NIWA) has issued licenses to eight barge operators companies to start transporting containers from Lagos to Onitsha in Anambra State.
Managing Director NIWA, Dr. George Moghalu stated this in Lagos on Wednesday when he visited the Nigerian Shippers Council headquarters in Apapa, Lagos.
Moghalu who was represented by NIWA’s General Manager in charge of Marine, Mr. Joseph Ororo noted that the eight companies would commence operations in a couple of weeks, adding that the collaboration between NIWA and Shippers Council would ensure successful harnessing of maritime potentials.
According to him, the collaboration between both agencies was aimed to move cargoes on the inland waterways to the hinterlands without hiccups saying that the synergy was coming at the appropriate time to boost waterways mode of transportation.
He noted that the project of barging cargoes from Lagos to Onitsha River Port cannot be executed by NIWA alone, but stressed the need for a robust working relationship with other sister agencies of the government.
Speaking earlier, the Executive Secretary, Nigerian Shippers’Council, Barrister Hassan Bello explained that the Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) Technical Committee by both agencies of the federal government under the Ministry of Transportation has been set up to seamlessly boost cargo movement via the inland waterways.
Bello also stressed the need for constant dredging and charting of the river channels to enhance effective navigation of the crafts.
He called on management of NIWA to ensure that barging activities was exclusive to indigenous players in sub sector as part of efforts to build capacity for local operators.
Bello pointed out that the movement of barges of the inland waterways must be properly regulated by the agency even as he harped on the need to connect the brown waters with roads and railways in other to ensure easy movement of goods to and from the hinterlands.