The National Inland Waterways Authority (NIWA) has warned boat operators to desist from transporting passengers beyond 7.00 p.
m. to avoid frequent boat mishaps on the waterways.
The Managing Director of the authority, Dr George Moghalu, issued the warning at a media interactive session with transportation correspondents in Lagos on Friday.
The News Agency of Nigeria reports that no fewer than 13 more bodies have been recovered from the ill-fated boat sailing from Mile 2 to Ibeshe, a suburb of Lagos, on Saturday, bringing the total dead bodies recovered to 17.The National Emergency Management Agency, NEMA, Zonal Coordinator, South-West, Mr Ibrahim Farinloye, had said illegal operators are rendering services after the end of official hours of 7:00pm, thereby violating the Inland Waterway operations rules.
Moghalu said the authority had constituted waterways task force to arrest any boat operators operating beyond the stipulated time.
The NIWA boss said the Task Force comprised National Drug Law Enforcement Agency (NDLEA), Lagos Sate Waterways Authority (LASWA), barge operators, Maritime Workers Union of Nigeria and the Marine Police.
He explained that studies by the authority had shown that these boat accidents occur either at night or early in the morning adding that the practice must stop.
He stated: ‘‘That is part of the regulation we are putting in place, We are more concern about peoples’ lives, check the history of accidents even in ferries.
“You find out that over 90 per cent of accident happens in the early hours of the morning or in the night and most of these vessels do not have navigational lights.
“On our own parts, we are laying buoys, trying to put navigational aids on the waterways but at the same time, we are appealing to residents in the Riverine communities to ensure the safety of these navigational equipment.
“We have come to see that vandals, thieves destroy these navigational equipment and make away with them,” he said.
Moghalu said the authority would sanction offenders of laws regulating the use of the waterways.
According to him, the Task Force has the mandate to arrest people, sanction people and prosecute people, it is no more business as usual.
There must be sanity on our waterways.
He, however, said that NIWA would continue to encourage boat operators to do the right thing and reduce the incessant boat mishap on waterways by adhering to safety regulations as stipulated by it.
Dr Magdalene Ajani, the Permanent Secretary, Federal Ministry of Transportation, on Friday reiterated that the Nigerian Shippers’ Council (NSC) remained the only port economic regulator.
Ajani made the pronouncement at the sensitisation seminar with the theme: “Promoting Competitiveness in the Maritime Industry: The Mandate of Nigerian Shippers’ Council,” in Lagos.
She noted that the Federal Government in 2015 declared the council as the port economic regulator.
Ajani said that as the port economic regulator, NSC was saddled with the responsibility to institute effective regulation at ports, working with other government agencies.
She, however, enjoined all stakeholders in the maritime industry to give the council the needed cooperation and support.
“I want us to note that while shippers council is the port economic regulator, the Nigerian Ports Authority remains the technical and operational regulator.
This is very key so that we understand the distinct role between the two agencies.
“Having realised that these two agencies are working within the mandate of the law of Nigeria, we, therefore, urge all those in court to have a rethink.
“This is for us to enable a good progression in the marine ecosystem and deliver the Nigerian economy of our dream,” she said.
Ajani said that the council port economic regulatory mandate and rules should be reflected in the port concession agreement under review and other subsequent agreement.
“Relying on the sub-existing order on the port economic regulation as issued by the president of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, I hereby reaffirm that the Nigerian Shippers’Council remains the interim port economic regulator in our nation’s port.
“This is pending the establishment and operationalisation of the national transport commission as an independent regulatory authority in the transport sector,” she said.
Ajani recalled that the nation’s port prior to 2006 port concession agreement had the lowest level of efficiency with anomalies such as imposition of different tariffs and shortage of modern cargo handling equipment, among others.
She noted that the NSC was appointed as an interim port economic regulator in 2014 to fill the vacuum and address the challenges bedeviling the port system.
Ajani said that the major objective of government in appointing the NSC as an interim port economic regulator was to create an effective regulatory regime at the port.
“The port economic regulator organ as gazetted has provided for various functions and roles of the council in line with the provisions of section 3c, f and j of the Nigerian Shippers’ Council Act cap 133 Law of the Federation 2004,” she said.
Earlier, Mr Emmanuel Jime, the Executive Secretary, NSC, noted that the port as a critical infrastructure needed to be competitive and should not be for free entry and exit.
According to Jime, this is in order for its users to enjoy the benefit of lower prices and efficient service delivery usually associated competition.
“It is against this backdrop that the Federal Government of Nigeria, pursuant to the Nigerian Shippers Council Act Cap N133 LFN 2004, appointed NSC as the Ports Economic Regulator.
“The aim is to create an effective regulatory regime at the Nigerian ports for control of tariffs, rates, charges and other related economic services, make the transportation sector efficient and contribute positively to the development of the nation’s economy,” he said Jime noted that the council could only achieve its mandate with the support and collaboration of all players in the industry.
Also Bongo Adi, Professor of Development Economics and Data Analytics, Lagos Business School, said that the port system was a natural monopolistic system and needed regulation to protect public interest.
Speaking on the theme, Adi lamented that the council could not regulate effectively due to pre-concession issues.
He called for an introduction of standards of operations for operators in the market space to make NSC regulation easier.
Other dignatries present at the event are Dr George Moghalu of the National Inland Waterways Authority, Mrs Margaret Orakwusi, Chairperson of Nigerian Ship-owners Forum, Mr Kunle Folarin, Chairman, Port Consultative Forum and Managing Director, Grimaldi Agency Nigeria Limited, Mr Ascanio Russo, among others.
NIWA MD receives award of excellence in public service Service By Lucy Ogalue Abuja, July 19, 2022The Managing Director, National Inland Waterways Authority (NIWA), Dr George Moghalu has been nominated as the winner of Businessday Excellence in Public slService Award 2021.
Mr Jibril Darda’u, NIWA’s General Manager, Corporate Affairs, in a statement on Tuesday in Abuja said the nomination was done by the Businessday Publisher Ltd.
”This is as a result of painstaking and careful review of the Managing Director’s starling performance and landmark achievements by the Award Committee.
The Businessday Public Service Awards is scheduled for July 21, at the Executive Hall, International conference center (ICC) Abuja,” Darda’u said.
The Managing Director, National Inland Waterways Authority (NIWA), Dr George Moghalu, said the experience gained through the concessioning of the Onitsha River Port will speed up other port concessioning process in the country.
Moghalu told newsmen at the formal handing over of the port to the concessionaire in Abuja that the authority had ”learnt on the job.”While lamenting on the time taken for the process to be completed, he said it was expected, being the first port to be concenssioned in the maritime sector.
”You cannot even quantify the challenges.
First of all, you are doing something you haven’t done before.
”As we speak, Onitsha River Port successful concession, is the first in the maritime industry.
So, the first time is certainly different.
”If by the time we do the second, third and fourth ones like we have on the pipeline, they are certainly not going to take as much time this first one took because we have learnt on the job.
”But if it is whether we have gained a lot of experience, we have.
Whether we have confidence in the process, we have.
As to whether expectations are high, expectations are high and we are going to be guided.
”And when you are doing this type of thing, you must do it properly in line with international best practice.
”PPP arrangements on concessioning processes is not a Nigerian thing, it has international standard that must be followed because you can’t change the rules because we are involved,” Moghalu said.
On vessels, the NIWA boss said lots of vessels fell within the limit of the available draft adding that draft determined the type of vessels expected at any port.
He said the major emphasis however was on using bagging process to move consignments from Apapa and Tincan to Onitsha and other inland ports.
”As we are talking about this, we are already starting the process of concessioning Oguta, Lokoja and Baro River ports which have already been completed,” he added.
On security, Moghalu said arrangements were on ground to ensure adequate security at the port.
”Let me place on record the support we have received from Nigerian Navy.
Dont forget that NIWA has its own police, there is also the Marine police, there is also our national police.
”But the truth I want to tell you now is that everybody is concerned, just like the roads, we have security challenges.
”So, we are going to be addressing the challenges as they come, that, I can assure you, but we are not scared about it, because it is not unsurmountable,” Moghalu restated.
He explained that the concessioned port had not been willed to the concessionaires by the Federal Government, thus, there would be proper monitoring to ensure they met their end of the bargain.
He said: “The Federal Government is going to gain a lot of money.
We are expecting about four billion naira in the first instance; the benefit which will be there are more tangeable.
”The traders will be able to access their goods near, the pressure that is going to be on our roads will be reduced, the congestion in Apapa and Tincan will be reduced to the bearest minimium.
”We know and statistics has shown that over 60 per cent of the containerised items that arrive both Tincan and Apapa end in the South East.
”So simple put, if five million containers arrive in Lagos from South East for example, it translates to 10 million trailers being on our road.
Five million bringing it and five million taking the containers back.
”So, if we can now move it by water we have reduced that pressure on the road, we have saved our infrastructure.
So, there is quite a lot of advantages in getting that onitsha port functioning optimally.”On his part, the concessionaire of the port, Dr George Nwangwu, expressed optimism that his company (Universal Elysium Consortium) would deliver their end of the bargain.
He said Nigeria is not an easy place to do business, bearing in mind the various challenges encountered by business men.
He said they would, however, employ their exceperience in PPP and privatisation to ensure the success of the project.
”We have serious experience in that and we have been immensely successful.
”We have the right partners.
We have the right structure, we have access to finance to do this project, so, we are certainly sure that we will be successful.
Nwangwu, however, urged the government to continue to dredge the channels to ensure the baggies move smoothly.
The News Agency of Nigeria reports that the port is expected to generate over N23 billion to the Federal Government in 30 years
The Director General of the National Inland Waterways Authority (NIWA), Dr. George Moghalu, has expressed optimism that the recently leased Onitsha River Port will have a positive impact on the nation's economy.
Moghalu made the expression, as he formally handed over the port to Dr. George Nwangwu, managing director of the Universal Elysium Consortium and licensee of the port in Abuja on Friday.
“We are here to formalize the delivery of the port of Onitsha that has been formally concessioned because the concession agreement has been signed.
“And what we are doing now is giving the concessionaire the instrument of authority so that they can enter the port and put it into active use.
“We believe that the port is a very strong asset of the Federal Government.
“For our part, we are very excited because I think this is the first successful PPP deal in the maritime sector.
I'm not sure if this has happened to anyone.`
“So, for us it is a milestone towards a great achievement, we also hope that the Onitsha river port will work perfectly well so that it can have a positive impact on the economy of the nation in general and the economy of the southeast.
According to the NIWA chief, the port of Onitsha will act as a reference for the ports of Baro, Oguta and Lokoja, which will also be concessioned.
He said: "So we expect a successful exit and, as former Minister of State for Transport Senator Gbemisola Saraki said, the river port of Onitsha 'is our poster boy'.
“It is our point of reference now for the other concessions that we are trying to do like Baro, Oguta, Lokoja.
"All of them will be concessioned because we firmly believe in partnering with the private sector so that we can operate these ports for the benefit of humanity."
Moghalu, on behalf of the authority, congratulated the concessionaires for being successful and winning the bid as concessionaires of this port and prayed for their success in the project.
“In time, once I have the opportunity again, I will continue to visit the port.
“With what they are doing now, I am going to inform everyone who has to do with NIWA, all our tenants, that the administration of the place has been handed over to the organization that was the winner in the bidding process.”
"Once again, I congratulate you and formally sign the papers."
The National Inland Waterways Authority (NIWA) and the Republic of Bangladesh agreed to collaborate to improve activities on the waterways of Nigeria and Bangladesh.
Dr. George Moghalu, Director General of NIWA, had this to say as Bangladeshi Ambassador to Nigeria Masudur Rahman led a delegation to visit him in Abuja on Friday.
“So there's a lot we're going to learn from you.
Let's share ideas.
“We are going to see how, wherever it has gained so much mileage, we will try to analyze it and see how we can adapt it for our own successes.
“We know that both Bangladesh and Nigeria are developing countries.
So there is nothing wrong with us learning from each other and sharing ideas.
“There are also some areas where we have strength, which Bangladesh will also learn from;
So, I want to assure you that we (NIWA) accept the invitation.
“We are going to work on the modalities, we are going to visit, we are going to engage our counterparts in Bangladesh, so that we can benefit from their experience.
“In areas where they have achieved higher mileage, we copy from them, there is nothing wrong with that as long as it helps us develop our economy.
“So I am honored, NIWA management is honored that you have come here today to educate us to share ideas with us, to let us know what is happening in Bangladesh and to what extent we can take advantage of it to develop our own country.
,'' Moghalu said.
The head of NIWA reiterated that the maritime sector has huge potential that could greatly contribute to the development of the country's economy, so it should not be ignored.
According to him, if the waterway is developed as it should, it will boost the growth of the country's GDP.
``You may be interested to know that by water you can reach 28 states in Nigeria, of the 36 states we have.
If we develop in our waterways.
“We have more than 10,000 kilometers of waterways, yes, as now they are only about 3,500 kilometers navigable all year round.
"But there is the possibility of opening the other sites, the remaining 5,600 or 5,800 can still be opened for browsing."
Moghalu said the authority would be happy to collaborate in the areas of dredging and shipbuilding as well, as it would help build capacity.
He said: “I am one of those who believes that we need to open up our waterways so that we can decongest the pressure that we have on our road infrastructure.
“This is because, throughout the world, the main cargo, the bulk cargo, is always transported by water or by rail, not necessarily by road, because the roads are not designed to carry that weight.
“So anything you can do to make sure you get these shipments off the road and onto the water or rail, which is what it was designed to do, then you see you would have accomplished two things at the same time.
“That is taking pressure off their roads and putting their waterway system to effective use.”
Earlier, the Bangladeshi ambassador said that both countries have similarities and could engage in versatile areas of cooperation from food security, agriculture, digital technologies, textiles and health, among others.
According to Rahman, Bangladesh has around 800 rivers with 52 international rivers from India, China, Nepal with huge delta.
He said that one of the things the country had done was devise ways to turn its challenges due to excess water into opportunities.
He said: “I have seen in southern Nigeria that there are more rivers and these rivers can be a great source of marine products, which can bring great resources and create many job opportunities if they can be organized.
“The rivers can also act as a connectivity between Nigeria and different regions that also have great income and employment generation.
“In Africa, I think no country is as close as Nigeria in terms of popularity and awareness in Bangladesh.
“I think there is great potential.
The High Commission will provide all possible cooperation in terms of its collaborations that it needs to seek in dredging, river building and the creation of economic river bed fishing practices.
“Bangladesh has those capabilities and capabilities and I think it can be a win-win collaboration between Bangladesh and Nigeria.
"We need to work on synergies, get moving and I hope you come up with ideas that we will collaborate with you and further our bilateral relations."
The Managing Director of National Inland Waterways Authority (NIWA), Dr George Moghalu, has congratulated the new Ministers of Transportation on behalf of the Board, Management and entire staff of the Authority.The General Manager, Corporate Affairs of NIWA, Mr Jibril Darda’u, made this known in a statement in Lagos on Sunday.Moghalu said that he wished to warmly join Nigerians in celebrating and congratulating Mr Mu’azu Sambo,over his meritorious appointment as the new Minister of Transportation and Mr Ademola Adegoroye as the Minister of State for Transportation.“Indeed the both appointments by His Excellency, President Muhammadu Buhari, GCFR, was a clear testimony and recognition of their competence, hard work, dedication, and sterling track records of achievements in their previous national assignment.” I believe that both ministers will bring their wealth of experience, wisdom and knowledge to bear in the discharge of their new assignments by improving the affairs of the Ministry“We wish the duo ministers a successful tenure in office,” Moghalu said. .
The Managing Director, National Inland Waterways Authority (NIWA), Dr George Moghalu, has congratulated Mr Mu’azu Sambo and Mr Ademola Adegoroye on their appointment as Minister of Transportation and Minister of State for Transportation.Moghalu said this in a statemement signed by Jibril Darda’u, General Manager, Corporate Affairs of NIWA, on Sunday in Abuja.He said:’ “Indeed the both appointments by President Muhammadu Buhari is a clear testimony and recognition of their competence, hard work, dedication, and sterling track records of achievements in their previous national assignments. “I strongly believe that the both ministers will bring their wealth of experience, wisdom and knowledge to bear in the discharge of their new assignments by improving the affairs of the ministry.””Hence, we wish the duo ministers successful tenure in office.”
The Minister of State for Transportation, Sen. Gbemisola Saraki, says the Onitsha river port is positioned to generate over N23billion to the Federal Government in 30 years.Saraki, during the signing of the concession of the port on Thursday in Abuja, said the port had lots of economic benefits to the country.According to her, the port will among other things, ensure the 60 per cent shiped cargoes which hitherto goes through Onne port to Onitsha to be transported directly.”So there is a lot of economic growth, there is going to be creation of wealth, creation of jobs, security and greater development.”We hope it is a catalyst for other river ports, so that it will decongest other ports and bring about growth.”You know the traffic on our road, the state of our roads as well as the tankers, and freight being moved on our roads have now reduced.”And so it is a very good thing and we are exceptionally proud that at long last we have actually achieved this.”It’s being signed and we look forward to the growth there to materialise,”Saraki said.According to the minister, the Baro, Lokoja and Oguta ports, which are at different stages of completion, will be considered after the onitsha port.”The most important thing is that we already have interest from potential investors who want to actually take over this.”The Managing Director, the National Inland Waterways Authority, (NIWA) Dr George Moghalu, said the Onitsha port would reduce the volume of cargoes transported via roads to the South East.Moghalu said:”Our roads are not designed to carry the kind of weight they are carrying.”Over 60 per cent of the containers that arrive Nigeria through Onne, Tin Can or Apapa port ends up in Onitsha and what it translates is that these containers are moved by trailers.”Onitsha port is very well positioned to play a key role in addressing this if opportunities are provided.”He commended the concessioneers in the efforts they were already making in bringing in investors into the country.Moghalu also expressed hope that the concessioing would open up opportunities for other ports in the country to be given due considerations.Meanwhile, the Acting Director-General, Infrastructure Concesion Regulatory Commission,(ICRC) Mr Michael Ohiani, reiterated that the 30 years concession would generate over N23 billion to the government.He said:”After rigorous procurement process, Universal Elysium Consortium emerged as the preferred concessionaire for the concession of Onitsha River Port.”Over the 30-year concession period, the concessionaire will be responsible for all the activities and maintenance of the port.”The asset along with the entire infrastructure will be returned to the authorities at the end of the concession period.”The redevelopment of Onitsha River Port is seen as a boost to commercial activities in the South East.”Importers and traders from the commercial towns of Onitsha, Nnewi, Aba and Ogbete-Enugu see the relaunch as a welcome development from the Federal Government.”The port will serve as an alternative mode of transporting goods from Lagos and Port Harcourt by road.
Federal Government agencies under the auspices of the Federal Ministry of Transportation (FMOT), have agreed to digitalise their internal processes and focus on actualising the National Single Window regime.This agreement was reached at the 4th Heads of Maritime Agencies meeting in Lagos on Friday.The Registrar of Council for the Regulation of Freight Forwarding in Nigeria (CRFFN), Mr Sam Nwakohu, said that full automation of the internal processes of the various agencies was a pre-requisite to achieving the much anticipated National Single Window regime in the sector.Nwakohu, who was the Chairman of the meeting, said the Chief Executive Officers of the various agencies had agreed on timelines to achieve full automation of internal processes.“We have agreed that all agencies under the Ministry of Transportation should as a matter of priority, attain full automation.“This process will be well coordinated and we also gave ourselves timelines to achieve this,” he said.Contributing, the Director-General, Nigerian Maritime Administration and Safety Agency (NIMASA), Dr Bashir Jamoh, said that NIMASA automation processes had reached over 80 per cent.Jamoh also gave an assurance that NIMASA’s commitment to automation was to reduce human interface, while also plugging revenue leakages in the system.“In line with the Federal Government’s Executive Order on Ease of Doing Business, we are committed to full automation to attain reduction of human interface in majority of our transactions with our stakeholders.“This is in our bid to ensure transparency and professionalism which the sector requires to grow.“The goal is to align with the National Single Window initiative, when all the internal processes of the various agencies have been concluded,” he said.Commenting on the high freight rate occasioned by the War Risk Insurance placed on Nigerian-bound vessels, the director-general said that the agency would focus on creating the awareness, while also canvassing the international community for a review.“This move is in relation to the removal of Nigeria from the global piracy list.“It may interest you to know that by the end of this quarter, which is the end of June, we would have recorded another milestone as we are yet to record a single attack or incident of maritime insecurity on our waters.“Therefore, we will keep advocating for the total removal of War Risk Insurance by the international community, so that Nigerians can benefit from that,” Jamoh said.NAN reports that the maiden edition of the meeting was held in 2020, with the aim of enhancing synergy and cooperation among parastatals under the supervision of the FMOT, which was intended for a more effective and efficient maritime sector.The meeting also had in attendance, Managing Director of Nigerian Ports Authority (NPA), Mr Mohammed Bello Koko; Executive Secretary of Nigerian Shippers’ Council (NSC), Mr Emmanuel Jime; and Managing Director, National Inland Waterways Authority (NIWA), Dr George Moghalu.Others are, Managing Director, Nigerian Railway Corporation (NRC), Mr Fidet Okhiria; Rector, Maritime Academy of Nigeria (MAN) Oron, Commodore Emmanuel Duja Effedua; and Director-General, Nigerian Institute of Transport Technology (NITT), Zaria, Mr Bayero Salih-Farah Zaria.(NAN)