Marine Ministry unveils waterways transportation regulations, commission projects in Kogi

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The Minister of Marine and Blue Economy Adegboyega Oyetola on Tuesday unveiled inland waterways transportation regulation code as well as inauguration of various projects executed by the National Inland Waterways Authority (NIWA).

Speaking during the commissioning of the laudable projects in Lokoja, Kogi State , the Minister , said the regulation codes would reduce the rate of accident on Inland waterways to the barest minimum.

Oyetola, a former Osun State Governor, commended the management of NIWA for the intervention to ensuring safety on inland waterways and boost the economic growth of the country.

He expressed the need to improve Nigeria bilateral trade, which the Minister described as very crucial to strengthening the value of naira and creating employment inline with President Bola Tinubu’s economic agenda.

“Considering the crucial role the maritime sector plays in utilizing this noble objective, the federal ministry of marine and blue economy is determined to ensure the actualisation of the comparative advantages that the maritime resources present,” the minister said.

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While commending the management of NIWA for keying into the renewed hope agenda of the current administration, the minister said that the unveiled water regulations code on inland Waterways would guide boat operators, regulate passengers conduct as well provide framework to potential investors on the waterways.

Oyetola assured that the regulation codes and other inaugurated projects would help to reduce the rate of accident on Nigeria waterways.

The minister urged the management of NIWA to ensure the full implementation of the regulations to strengthen safety on inland waterways.

In his remarks, the Kogi State Governor, Alh. Ahmed Ododo, commended the Minister and the management of NIWA for reviving the Inland Waterways for the economic growth of the nation.

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Ododo, who was represented by his Deputy, Joel Salifu Oyibo assured that the state would continue to key into the renewed hope of the President’s programmes and policies.

The governor promised that Kogi Government would continue to support NIWA to ensure that the agency effectively carried out their mandate in the state.

Earlier, the Managing Director of NIWA, Bola Oyebamiji, said the cooperation of the Agency’s management and staff with support of the Minister had made them to record several achievements within his seven months in office.

According to him, three fatal boat accidents were recorded on the water ways in different locations which challenged us for an emergency response strategy.

“We equally discovered a gap in our approach to enforcement on the water ways. Today, we are here to officially unveiled transportation regulations and launch boats for public use.
These will help to regulate the conduct of passengers and provide a frame work in water transportation,” he said.

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Oyebamiji, however, called for speedy passage of the NIWA Act currently before the National Assembly.

In their separate comments, the Chairman Senate Committee on Marine and Transportation, Sen. Wasiu Eshinlokun; and Chairman House Committee on National Inland Waterways, Rep. Ojotu Ejema, both promised to promote legislation that would strengthening inland waterways for nation’s growth and development.

“We assure you that the committees would give NIWA the required legislative support for the growth and protection of Nigerian waterways,” Eshinlokun said.

The inaugurated projects include: Customized 63 passenger ferry, Hydrographic survey boats, water ambulances, two-storey building, general reception, staff clinic, and other water crafts.




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