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NIWA partners Army, Navy, others in maritime project

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NATIONAL Inland Waterways Authority (NIWA) is to engage Army, Navy and Civil Society Organisations in the maritime subsector within the South-East geopolitical zone to create awareness and enhance wealth creation in the industry.

  The Managing Director and Chief Executive Officer of NIWA, George Muohalu who dropped the statement during a one day sensitisation seminar on NIWA activities in the South-East zone at all Saints Cathedral Onitsha, said the outfit would engage all stakeholders within the region to sensitise, improve and create wealth through effective implementation of government policies. He said it would further assist to develop and enhance safety enforcement and minimise environmental damage.

  The chief executive stated that the effort would certainly provide a clear frame work that would enable investors to participate in maritime project to improve growth and competitiveness within the maritime sub sector.

  The MD also stated that government will procure modern life jackets and called on private entrepreneurs to sponsor Inland waterways transportation to facilitate the process of  making Onitsha River Port functional during his tenure.  

  He said that waterways transportation would reduce undue pressures in a particular mode of transportation, saying that it was safer, cheap with low operating cost. He further suggested use of flat boats in case of poorly dredged areas or dry seasons.

 “In his keynote address, ”Reforming the Maritime Sector in Onitsha; Priority Areas, Potential Projects and the Way Forward,” Moghalu noted that transportation was indispensable in the world in view of its contributions towards economic development.                  

  “For us as a nation, opportunities abound in the maritime sector that could lift the economy to greater heights but this remained largely unexploited. Most advanced economies of the world have those that have highly developed maritime industries.                  “Accordingly, to reform the Onitsha sector, it is essential to develop a policy framework that will include goals, strategic objectives, policy action and strategic plan for implementation. It is on this basis that we have decided to engage the civil society and all other stakeholders in the maritime subsector within the South East Geopolitical Zone.

  This has achieved an appreciable level of completion. The government will vigorously pursue the expansion of the nation river ports to be driven by the private sector. Some of these include the development of the Baro River Port, the development of Lokoja River Port and others.

  He stated that government attention is also directed towards ensuring safety and security in the nation’s waterways, stressing that they will effectively partner the Nigerian Navy and all related agencies in addressing the security challenges in the Gulf of Guinea which are key to the nation’s economic resurgence agenda. 

  Earlier in her welcome address, Area Manager, NIWA Onitsha,  Telema Abbiba Obi said that they decided that an encompassing meeting with stakeholders be held to generate a forum to encourage development.

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