The National Inland Waterways Authority (NIWA) said 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, Chief George Moghalu, disclosed this in Abuja while briefing journalists shortly after the commissioning of the Authority’s new Area Office by the Minister of Transportation, Rotimi Amaechi.
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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.
“We are concerned about it. We are enforcing the protocols. We have acquired about 20 patrol boats 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,” he said.
He said NIWA has also embarked on electronic registration of boats and opened up a channel to train boat operators and their captains to recertify them.
Moghalu told journalists 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.