BY: NICK NWANERI, Calabar
The National Inland Waterways Authority (NIWA) has concluded plans towards the regististration of all operators of boats in Nigeria waterways across the country.
This information was dropped by the Managing Director of the National Inland Waterways Authority (NIWA), Mr. George Moghalu while speaking at the Palace of Obong of Calabar, Edidem Ekpo Okon Abasi, V , during a courtesy call.
Said he, “the essence of the registration is to enable the authority monitor their activities to reduce the rate of accidents on the waterways where many lives are usually lost”.
Moghalu said they will ensure that they provide lifejackets to all seafarers plying the waterways for business or pleasure.
He said even though they may not yet be able to provide boats in all the area offices but they will want to ensure that all operators comply with necessary laws guiding operations of the waterways.
The managing director said he will revive waterway travel which he said is about the cheapest means of transportation in the country.
“We will make life jackets available at the area office and we hope this will reduce the rate of accidents along the waterways. We will ensure that all operators comply with the laws guiding water operations and with the fees they should pay to the authority,” he said.
Although Moghalu said the authority cannot afford enough boats to go round the various waterways in the country, he promised to make some boats available to the Calabar area office to enhance water transportation.
The Obong of Calabar, Edidem Ekpo Okon Abasi Otu V welcomed him to his domain assuring that he will always be disposed to all efforts geared towards the socio economic and socio cultural development of the state and the country at large.