• Friday, March 01, 2024
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NIWA has commenced plans for Makurdi jetty – Moghalu

Moghalu harps on Private Sector Bill of Rights to open Africa for business

The National Inland Waterways Authority, NIWA, on Thursday said it has commenced plans to build a new jetty in Makurdi, the Benue State capital.

George Moghalu, Managing Director (MD), National Inland Waterways Authority, NIWA, disclosed this while speaking with State House Journalists in Abuja on Thursday, shortly after meeting with President Muhammadu Buhari

The Agency is also working out plans to reduce, the effect of flooding along the nation’s waterways, through early warnings and sensitizing citizen living along flood planes.

Maghalu stated that the federal government has taken steps to clear the both River Niger and River Benue of debris and wreckages that contribute to blockade of the water canals.
“All the resources, all the money available for NIWA this year is not all dedicated to dredging or to opening up of channels.

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“There are other issues that take up resources; human capital development, development of infrastructure, building new jetties, building new ramps across the country and then getting vessel also and putting them to effective use.
“So we address what is of primary interest of the average Nigerian before every other interest, as far as it has to do with our own planning and our operations.
“If you noticed, not too long ago, about two, three weeks ago, we looked at the river chart for Benue and divided the our plans into two. The first phase of it was launched, a few weeks ago.

“Under this phase, there is collaboration between National Inland Waterways Authority and the Nigerian Navy. We are also being supported by NEXIM Bank, on the instrumentality of Sea Link Project.

He disclosed that NIWA is repositioning River Benue and River Niger, “these two are the major rivers in our country and whatever we’re doing is around these two rivers.

“We have built jetties, like you know, we have the port in Onitsha completed, the port in Baro has been completed, the one in Lokoja is ongoing, not yet completed, the one in Oguta is not yet completed.

“Recently, we have started the Environmental Impact Assessment for the Makurdi jetty which will also commence as soon as all arrangements are concluded.
“So you find out that all these jetties and all these ports are all in line with our plans for both River Benue and River Niger.”

Ahead of the rainy seasons, Moghalu said the government was proactively sensitising the people, identifying the critical areas and getting people to know what will happen with time.

“With regards to clearing, yes, water hyacinths are being cleared on a regular basis, wrecks are removed, we are clearing channels that are blocked and we are doing everything we can, within the limits of our resources to open up those channels so that we can have easy flow of water during this period,” he said.

Speaking on the Water Resources Bill, the NIWA MD, said NIWA has “transmitted its position in writing to the ministry, but the point here is that the National Assembly are made up of Nigerians and they are representing various communities and constituencies in the country. So for me, there is no issue that cannot be discussed.

“If there are concerns raised by various groups, certainly it has to be addressed for us to come up with a bill that is universally acceptable by everybody. So if there are concerns, I’m sure that National Assembly will look at it and then address the issues as they arise.”