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.
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 Seaport Terminal Operators Association of Nigeria (STOAN) on Sunday felicitated the new Minister of Transportation, Mr Mu’azu Sambo, on his appointment by President Muhammadu Buhari.
The Chairman of STOAN, Princess Vicky Haastrup, in a statement in Lagos, also felicitated the Minister of State for Transportation, Mr Ademola Adegoroye.
Haastrup expressed confidence in the ability of the new ministers to fulfill the vision of President Buhari for the transportation sector.
She assured the new ministers of the full cooperation of port terminal operators in the discharge of their duties.
Haastrup prayed for God’s guidance for the duo in their new assignments.
He said that Sambo’s previous rich work experience in the maritime industry would help him succeed in the new task assigned to him.
“We are particularly happy with your appointment considering your rich work experience and numerous contributions to nation building both within and outside the maritime industry.
“We are assured with your experience as the immediate past Minister of State in the Federal Ministry of Works and Housing, and previous work experience in the Nigerian Ports Authority (NPA), Savannah Bank, Allied Bank and NICON Insurance Corporation.
“Also, as the General Manager Lagos Zone, National Inland Waterways Authority (NIWA), where you meritoriously retired from public service in 2019; we have no doubt that you will make significant positive impact as the Minister of Transportation,” she said.
Both Sambo and Adegoroye were deployed to the Federal Ministry of Transportation as Minister and Minister of State respectively on July 6 after President Muhammadu Buhari inaugurated new ministers and effected a minor cabinet reshuffle.
While Adegoroye is newly appointed into the President’s cabinet, Sambo was redeployed from the Federal Ministry of Works and Housing where he served as Minister of State since December 2021.
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 newly appointed Minister of Transportation, Mu’azu Jaji Sambo says he is back home, having started his career in the Maritime sector as a Civil Engineer with the Nigerian Ports Authority (NPA) and ended up as the Lagos Area Manager of National Inland Waterways Authority (NIWA).He said this on assumption of duty alongside the Minister of State for Transportation, Prince Ademola Adewole Adegoroye in Abuja. Mu’azu was deployed from the Ministryof Works and Housing by President Muhammadu Buhari.Recalling the fact that he has very little time to operate, the Minister said: “We will look for the low hanging fruits and make sure that we put them on the table as quickly as possible”.Speaking further, the Minister said that he was coming with an open mind and expects same from Staff and Management while calling them to give him the needed support to do his best. “I have come with an open mind to do my best and leave humanity and posterity to judge” he said.In her handover speech, the ex-Minister of State for Transportation, Sen. Gbemisola Ruqayyah Saraki who was deployed to the Ministry of Mines and Steel Development as Minister of State, reassured the Ministers that they have an exceptionally hard working team of staff in the Ministry of Transportation, while disclosing that transportation remained one of the focal point of President Muhammadu Buhari’s Administration and that the Ministry goes beyond rail as it has both maritime and road transportation departments.Earlier, the Permanent Secretary, Dr. Magdalen Ajani, in a welcome address, promised a smooth working relationship with the Ministers for the development of the sector.Also speaking on behalf of the Staff, the Director, Finance and Accounts, Hassan Umar assured the Ministers that the team on ground are professionals, worthy of their calling as Civil Servants as they apply exant rules and regulations in the discharge of their duties.
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.”
Emergency responders have recovered the bodies of a 52-year-old male and a 20-year- old female believed to be victims of boat accident in Lagos.
Mr Ibrahim Farinloye, the Zonal Coordinator South-West National Emergency Management Agency (NEMA), confirmed the development to the News Agency of Nigeria on Saturday in Lagos.
Farinloye said that the incident was as a result of a W19 passenger Fibre boat carrying 16 people that capsized along the Ojo area of the state.
He said that the boat, which took off from Mile 2 to Ibeshe in Ojo axis, capsized while operating at night against the inland waterways rules.
Farinloye said that the incident happened at about 7.45 p.m on Friday.
“It was found out that the tide of the water drifted the boat to a stationary barge which caused it to overturn.
“Marine Police, the National Inland Waterways Authority (NIWA), Lagos State WaterWays Authority (LASWA) and volunteers swung into action in trying to rescue some of the victims, but to no avail.
“It cannot be confirmed if all the passengers including the captain were wearing life jackets but some people claimed some of them were wearing their life jackets which may not be effective.
“Recovery operations are still ongoing,” Farinloye said.