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Mishaps: FG acquires 20 patrol boats

Posted On 07 Oct 2021
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Mishaps: FG acquires 20 patrol boats

 

The Federal Government, through the National Inland Waterways Authority (NIWA), has revealed that it has acquired 20 patrol boats to boost its monitoring and enforcement of protocols on the inland waterways to tackle the menace of boat mishaps in the country.

NIWA’s managing director, George Moghalu, disclosed this in Abuja on Thursday, while briefing journalists shortly after the commissioning of the Authority’s new Area Office by the Minister of Transportation, Rotimi Amaechi.

Moghalu, while expressing concerns over the menace of boat mishaps which has claimed many lives in recent times, said NIWA was “doing quite a lot” to address the issue.

He said: “We are concerned about it. We are enforcing the protocols. Last week, we were in Lagos to inaugurate a task force whose responsibility is to ensure that protocols are fully observed. And to facilitate this, we also gave out three patrol boats to the Lagos office.

“We have acquired about 20 of them and we are distributing them to various area offices. We have also acquired some ambulances and we are distributing them to area offices. We have also upped the ante with regards to sensitization because, like you rightly observed, some of our people willingly go and overload their vessels.

“We have also embarked on electronic registration of boats. We have opened up a channel to train boat operators and their captains to recertify them. We are recertifying the vessels because some of these vessels are not supposed to be on the water. With our police, we are enforcing those protocols. It is either it is properly done or not done at all.”

Moghalu, while expressing worries over the recently collapsed jetty in Port Harcourt, however, clarified that the affected jetty does not belong to NIWA.

He said when the incident happened; its Area Office in Port Harcourt moved to the scene and offered the needed support.

He said findings indicate the jetty collapsed due to pressure, adding that “the jetty was quite an old jetty.”

Moghalu told newsmen that his vision was to make inland water transportation to be a transport of choice for goods and services in the country by the time he leaves office.

Earlier, the Minister of Transportation, Rotimi Amaechi after commissioning the Area Office, commended the MD for the feat and urged him to do more.

About the Author
Philomena  Ngozi Christopher-Oji was born to the family of the late Michael and Cecilia Ojeogwu of Ubulu-Uku, in Aniocha South Local Government Area, Delta State. She had her primary and secondary education in Nwanoli and Ezemu Girls College, in Ubulu-Uku, before she proceeded to the Delta State University, Abraka, where she studied English and Literary Studies. READ MORE ABOUT AUTHOR 

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