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Boat accidents: NIWA rolls out safety measures on waterways

The Managing Director of National Inland Waterways Authority (NIWA), Bola Oyebamiji, has rolled out measures aimed at stemming the tide of persistent boat accidents on…

The Managing Director of National Inland Waterways Authority (NIWA), Bola Oyebamiji, has rolled out measures aimed at stemming the tide of persistent boat accidents on waterways across the country.

The Managing Director disclosed this to journalists in Lokoja Thursday, at the end of a three-day special retreat, with the theme: Repositioning National Waterways Authority for Excellence.

He said the organisation cannot fold its hands and allow this trend of accidents to continue on the country’s waterways.

He said, “In repositioning NIWA, the first thing that agitates my mind is safety. In the last couple of months, the organisation has seen a series of boat mishaps on the waterways.

“This is uncalled for. This is criminal. I can tell you that there is going to be a committee going forward that is going to handle safety on the waterways in the country.

“The committee is going to handle registration of boats, and even partner with the local boat builders to make sure that we have a standardised boat.

“We have drivers of these boats that are trained, and we have a rescued committee that is agile, vibrant, and can be tested anytime.”

The NIWA boss said the organisation has a working template that it is operating with, in accordance with the objectives set up by President Bola Ahmed Tinubu, adding that President Tinubu created the Ministry of Marine and Blue Economy because the organisation is expected to add value to the Nigerian economy.

“There are going to be a lot of things. Employment is going to be created. The ministry is going to add to the GDP of Nigeria via a repositioned NIWA.

“The ministry is going to add value, especially areas like fisheries, aquaculture, and so many other things; areas that have been planned in the roadmap of the ministry.

“I can assure you that in the next couple of months and years, you will see the indicators that the ministry is firmly rooted to drive the Nigerian economy,” he said.

The highlight of the 3-day retreat was the signing of a performance bond with the managing director as a mark of assurance that they have keyed into the new narrative and are ready to achieve the best for NIWA and Nigeria.

 

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