By Omotilewa Quadri
The Onitsha and Warri Area Office Managers of the National Inland Waterways Authority (NIWA) and the Port Manager of Onitsha River Port have all lamented the lack of functional vehicles, poor security, inadequate staff and conflicts with sister agencies as their major constrains.
The two Area Managers and the Onitsha River Port Manager explained these constraints to NIWA Managing Director, Dr. Olorunnimbe Mamora when he visited those area offices, as part of his familiarisation tour of NIWA facilities.
At the Onitsha Area Office, Mrs. Uchi Amadi, the Area Manager said the Area Office in a bid to boost and diversify her revenue base is reaching out to the public, private partnership to develop and industrialise her floodable plains right of way and utilization of Island along the waterways for recreation, Agriculture and Cattle ranching.
She however, said their major challenges in the area office is inadequate staff, non-functional vehicles, challenges from sister agencies like Ministry of Solid Minerals Development over jurisdiction and the effort of the Authority at recovering some NIWA properties illegally occupied or annexed.
At the Onitsha River Port complex, the Port Manager, Baba Spencer, explained to the Managing Director that since the inception of the River Port, their mode of operations are strictly port related activities i.e use of port facilities given as slipway, use of the port water front and occasional berthing of crafts.
The Port Manager said their major challenge is security. He explained that the collapsed of the perimeter fence by the Port slipway and the leased to M & E dredging services as dumpsites are highly prone to security risk.
He further called for the reinforcement of the perimeter fence, maintenance of the port equipment, rehabilitation of the dilapidated fire services station and allocation of operational vehicle which the port does not have at the moment.
At the Warri Area Office, the Managing Director was received by the Area Manager, Engr. Tammuno Fiberesima who brief ed him on the activities of the area office which include Berthing services, loading and off-loading services, rents of space and warehouse amongst others.
The Area Manager said the dockyard services i.e the slipway is not operational now as it is undergoing rehabilitation.
According to Engr. Fiberesima, their major challenges are lack of functional vehicles, lack of functional boats for revenue drive and general patrol and also lack of adequate staff and training.
In his reaction to all their requests, the Managing Director said as a team leader, he is giving them his words of encouragement and expect them to put in their best to the growth and development of the Authority. He said to whom much is given, much is expected. That from what he has seen, they can do better.
He said the authority will look into their requests based on merit and availability of funds so as to meet up their official obligations. He urged all the staff to rededicate themselves at their place of work and that NIWA will continue to support them.
Area Manager of Warri presented gifts to the MD and the management staff that travelled with him.