• Thursday, April 18, 2024
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NIWA plans to license 2,200 boats, remove 5 wrecks in Lagos

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Determined to boost water transportation in Lagos, the National Inland Waterways Authority (NIWA) said it has set plans in motion to enable it to license about 2,200 boats, remove five wrecks across the inland waterways in Lagos and train 1,500 skippers before the end of 2024.

Speaking with journalists in Lagos at the weekend, Munirudeen Bola Oyebamiji, managing director of NIWA, said NIWA under his watch, wants to increase the number of navigable waterways in Nigeria.

Read also: Supreme Court upholds NIWA as authentic inland waters’ regulator

“Nigeria has about 10,000 kilometres of waterways, but only 3,000 kilometres are navigable, according to Google. This is why we want to increase the navigable waterways in Nigeria from 3,000 kilometres to 5,000 kilometres. This means NIWA has to dredge an additional 2,000 kilometres of waterways to meet the target,” he said.

According to him, the authority will also build more jetties across the country and that would be achieved by 2027.

He said Lagos is the hub of inland waterways activities in Nigeria and the authority has deployed five patrol boats to monitor activities on Lagos waterways.

“With the recent Supreme Court judgement that ceded the water regulatory authority to NIWA, we cannot afford to have any lapses any longer. Going forward, we have deployed five patrol boats across the waterways in Lagos, being our busiest axis. One patrol boat has been taken to the Badagry axis. Another has been taken to Badore; another has been deployed at Ikorodu; another deployed at Ijegun while the last is at Marina. The deployment of these patrol boats was strategic.

“The patrol boats have been deployed along this axis to monitor waterways issues like overspeeding, overloading, etc. It is also a way of increasing our presence on the waterways. We have also installed a gauge inside the water in the Marina. It monitors wave movement and gives us information on what to expect every day. The Gauge has a range of monitoring from Marina to Badagry and Ikorodu,” he said.

Read also: NIWA suspends boat operations to Ikorodu terminal

According to him, NIWA is also looking at deploying some boats in the Northern part of the country where accidents happen due to rickety boats.

“We also want to have water marshals across the country. This is already in place in Lagos, but we want to replicate that nationwide,” he added.