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Utilise waterways to avert incessant road crashes – NIWA MD

The Managing Director of the Nigeria Inland Waterways Authority (NIWA), Dr George Moghalu, has advocated enhanced utilisation of the country’s waterways to drastically reduce the…

The Managing Director of the Nigeria Inland Waterways Authority (NIWA), Dr George Moghalu, has advocated enhanced utilisation of the country’s waterways to drastically reduce the incessant crashes and loss of lives on the highways.

Dr Moghalu, who spoke with our reporter in Port Harcourt on the sidelines of the commissioning of boats and vessels acquired by NIWA to beef up security on the waterways, noted that many roads across Nigeria were choked with excess axle loads, resulting in very high cost of maintenance as well as the attendant loss of lives and property due to avoidable accidents.

According to him, the narrative that only 3,000 out of over 10,000 kilometres of inland waterways is navigable all-year-round is not complimentary, stating that 28 of the 36 states of the country can be accessed by water.

Also speaking on the significance of utilising the waterways, the NIWA MD said the huge opportunities within the national inland waterways could best be optimised if a strong regulatory framework was provided.

“We need a strong regulatory framework that will go a long way to harness the vast opportunities in the Nigeria inland waterways. The boats and vessels we acquired will assist us in combating insecurity in the waterways,” he said.

Dr. Moghalu, who decried the piracy, robbery and kidnappings on the waterways, disclosed that the tug boats, houseboats, water ambulance and patrol boats acquired by the agency had been deployed in their respective areas offices to beef up security on the waterways.