NIWA unveils ten-year strategic growth agenda

THE management of National Inland Waterways Authority (NIWA) has unveiled a decade long strategic growth plans.

Scheduled for implementations from 2016-2026, the agenda is being fine-tuned to pave way for what NIWA described as seamless implementations.

Already, the Managing Director of NIWA, Hajiya Inna Maryam Ciroma has put together a three day retreat starting from Wednesday to Friday in Abuja where key management staff are expected to brainstorm on the proposed growth plans.

According to Ciroma, the idea behind the proposed retreat is to bring together all the General Managers, Deputy General Managers, Assistant General Managers, Area Managers and other relevant staff to deliberate on the future of NIWA in the next decade.

NIWA’s General Manager, Public Affairs, Tayo Fadile who spoke on behalf of Ciroma on Monday said: “It is expected that the staff themselves do a reassessment, re-appraisal and evaluation of efforts with a view of identifying area of successes, new frontiers, challenges and proffering suitable solutions to challenges confronting NIWA as a corporate entity”.

The retreat is also expected to give opportunity to staff to make suggestions and inputs as to how to shore-up the revenue profile of the agency.

According to NIWA, within the ten year period, NIWA is also expected to redouble efforts as regard safety on waterways nation-wide, adding that life jackets and other materials will be distributed free of charge to enlighten waterways users nation-wide.

He said other outstanding geo political zones in the country that have not been covered would be taken care of in the months ahead.

He said: “You will also recall that the President has approved the dredging of critical parts of River Benue and construction of new River Port in Makurdi, Benue State.

“Baro River Port in Niger State is almost completed and will soon be commissioned by Mr. President while steady progress has been made in respect of Lokoja River Port in Kogi State and Oguta River Port in Imo State.

“The approval for the Inland Waterways Transportation Code is being expected any moment from now from the Federal Ministry of Transport.

“Also, the Federal Executive Council is in the process of forwarding an Executive Draft Bill on NIWA to the National Assembly after due approval. The Bill is expected to strengthen NIWA activities nation-wide and restructure the Authority for optimal performance.”

Worried by reported accidents along Nigeria’s waterways, NIWA in 2014 intensified its safety campaigns at strategic locations.

Within the year (2014) NIWA extended 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.

Fadile explained that the nationwide programme is designed to sensitise Nigerians on safety modalities along coastal areas.

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