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The National Inland Waterways Authority (NIWA) has announced plans to remove five wrecks obstructing navigation along the Lagos backwaters. This initiative is aimed at addressing boat mishaps and improving waterway safety.
This is even as the agency said it will be licencing 2,200 boats and training 1,500 skippers before the end of 2024.
Speaking with newsmen over the weekend in Lagos, the Managing Director/Chief Executive Officer of NIWA, Munirudeen Bola Oyebamiji, elaborated that Lagos, as the epicentre of inland waterways operations in Nigeria, has deployed five patrol boats to oversee activities on the state’s waterways.
He said, “Nigeria has about 10,000km of waterways in this country, but anytime you search via Google, you will always find out that only 3,000km are navigable. I have given the Area Managers a target of increasing navigable waterways in Nigeria from 3,000km to 5,000km. This means that as part of the deliverables that I gave the Area Managers, NIWA has to dredge an additional 2,000km of waterways to meet the target of 5,000km of navigable inland waterways.
“Also, another target I gave the Area Managers is tied to the number of jetties that NIWA has. I asked them to give me the number of jetties that they want to add to what they already have. In the next four years, we need to know the number of jetties that we will want to build so that by 2027, we would have said that this number of jetties were built during this period.
“Also, on the issue of wrecks, I gave each Area number of wrecks to remove. Lagos, being our busiest Area got a target of five wrecks to remove yearly. Again, on boat operations, I expect 2,200 boats to be licensed on a yearly basis in Lagos. Also, I have charged the Lagos Area Managers to train and license 1,500 Skippers on a yearly basis.
“So all this formed part of the targets that I gave to each Area Managers during our meetings for them to measure their performance in office on a yearly basis. This will let everybody have a sense of direction and know what they are expected to do.”Follow us on social media