The National Inland Waterways Authority (NIWA) has extended its ongoing nationwide safety awareness campaign to Rivers and Bayelsa States.
Already, the agency has visited Nupeka and Malale in Niger State, Igbokoda in Ondo State and Lagos State.
The awareness campaign is aimed at ensuring safety for Nigerians who use waterways to commute from one part of the country to another.
A statement issued by NIWA’s General Manager, Public Affairs, Tayo Fadile explained that the nationwide programme is designed to sensitise Nigerians living around coastal areas.
He explained that the programme involves safety talk, distribution of life jackets, campaign shirts and other safety items free of charge.
Managing Director of NIWA, Hajia Maryam Ciroma, according to Fadile is the Chief host of the events while the respective Governors of Rivers and Bayelsa are the special guest of honour.
Meanwhile, NIWA in collaboration with a private firm, Enviroplus has established Waterways Emergency Preparedness Unit (NWEPRU).
The Head of Projects and Programme, Enviroplus, Olubankole Davy Omokive, explained that the campaign would be done in two phases, with the southern outreach covering Lagos, Anambra, Delta, Bayelsa, Rivers, Akwa Ibom and Cross River States, while the northern outreach would cover Kano, Kaduna, Kwara, Kogi, Benue and Niger states.
He explained that 22 out of 36 states of the federation use water as a means of transportation, adding that there is need to have an emergency outfit in place to take charge of emergency response in the waterways.
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