Oyetola commissions infrastructures at NIWA

Oyetola commissions infrastructures at NIWA


The Minister of Marine and Blue Economy, Adegboyega Oyetola, has commissioned some infrastructures at the Nigerian Inland Waterways (NIWA) on Tuesday.

The event took place at NIWA headquarters in Lokoja, Kogi State, where he inaugurated several projects aimed at enhancing the operational capabilities and safety standards of Nigeria’s waterways.

In his address, Oyetola emphasised the critical role of the maritime sector in improving Nigeria’s balance of trade, strengthening the naira, and creating employment in line with President Bola Ahmed Tinubu’s Renewed Hope Agenda.

A milestone achievement celebrated during the visit was the long-awaited Water Transportation Code, which will standardise water transportation, minimise accidents, and provide a structured environment for potential investors.

The Minister commended NIWA for their efforts in bringing the vital code to fruition.

The projects inaugurated include 15 boats of varying capacities and purposes comprising three surveillance boats, five safety enforcement boats, a gun patrol boat, a 62-seater passenger boat as a pilot scheme to replace traditional wooden canoes, three water ambulances, and two hydrographic survey boats equipped with multi-beam echo sounders.

“These initiatives fulfill our commitment to ensuring our inland waterways are well-utilised for both cargo shipment and passenger transportation,” Oyetola said.

Oyetola commissions infrastructures at NIWA

He also pledged to address both internal and external challenges impeding NIWA’s operations to ensure continuous improvement and expansion of navigable waterways.

The Minister revealed plans by his ministry to increase navigable waterways by at least 2,000 kilometres through comprehensive dredging and said that efforts are ongoing to finalise the disbursement of the Cabotage Vessel Financing Fund (CVFF), which aims at supporting the development of the maritime sector.

The Minister, however, called on the private sector to invest in and partner with the government in leveraging the numerous opportunities in the maritime industry to foster sustainable development.

“We will continue to create an enabling environment, develop supportive policies, and offer necessary assistance to grow the Inland Waterways segment,” he said.

In his welcome address, the Managing Director of NIWA, Bola Oyebamiji, expressed gratitude for the Minister’s support and guidance in driving organisational reforms and efficiency.

He outlined the agency’s proactive measures, which include the implementation of education grants, promotion letters, and medical packages for staff, to boost morale and productivity.

Oyebamiji also highlighted NIWA’s initiatives in public engagement, emergency response, and enforcement, which led to the launch of the first phase of water marshal initiatives.