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NIWA undergoing reforms to step up performance—Mustapha

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The Managing Director of National Inland Waterways Authority (NIWA), Boss Gida Mustapha has revealed that the authority is undergoing series of reforms aimed at repositioning the agency for greater performance.

He made this public while welcoming officials of the Nigeria International Ports and Terminal (NIMPORT), a port and terminal promotion body, who came on a courtesy visit to express support for the repositioning of NIWA.

Boss said the new face of NIWA will be anchored on its mandate of developing Nigerian inland waterways for easy navigation and as alternative mode of transportation for evacuation of cargoes.

Chairman, NIMPORT, Fortune Idu, was at NIWA for discussions on their NIMPORT 2017 exhibition which is scheduled to hold in August 2017 in Lagos.

Analysts had observed that NIWA in the past years has been faced with several developmental challenges; from reduced revenue allocation from the central government to indiscriminate usurping of its duties by some other agencies and state governments leading to unregulated activities within and around the corridors of Nigerian waterways.

Parts of the major challenge include paucity of funds which had hobbled the agency on the dredging of navigable rivers for safer navigation and increase transportation usage. While uncontrolled development within the corridors of Nigerian waters has continued to have negative impacts on channel blockage and has increased water pollution, poor patronage remains the major problem even though some strategic river channels including River Niger and Benue had been dredged.

Hydrological statistics show that Nigeria has four river ports development projects, which have not met their expected objectives. For instance Baro, a port that is already developed is not linked to any access road therefore hindering easy evacuation of the cargoes received into hinterland.

A repositioned NIWA, among other things will greater powers to regulate inland water navigation, set standards and enforce compliance for improving waterway safety and also open more opportunity for profitable investment in inland water transportation.


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