The National Inland Waterways Authority (NIWA) has said that it is collaborating with the Nigeria Police to ensure seamless movement of cargo from Lagos to Onitsha port.
This is part of the preparative and protective measures taken by NIWA to ensure a seamless shipment of goods from Lagos Ports to Onitsha River Port.
This was disclosed by the Managing Director of NIWA, Dr George Moghalu, in a statement signed by the General Manager, Corporate Affairs of NIWA, Mr Jibril Darda’u, on Thursday, June 3, 2021, during a working visit to the acting Inspector-General of Police (IGP), Usman Alkali Baba, at the force’s headquarters in Abuja recently.
Moghalu noted that the collaboration and cooperation of the police in providing adequate security for the second test-run of cargo shipments from Lagos to Onitsha River Port was to decongest the ports in Lagos State.
What the Managing Director of NIWA is saying
Moghalu said that the visit was also aimed at allaying the fears of cargo owners and building their confidence in the test-run exercise from Lagos to Onitsha bearing in mind that about 60% of cargoes coming from Nigerian ports are going to the South East.
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The NIWA boss said:
“The purpose of our visit is to seek collaboration and cooperation of the police force to build synergy in our inland waterways operations now that we are about to commence the second phase of the test-run of shipping cargoes from Lagos to Onitsha.
NIWA is a federal agency saddled with the responsibility of regulating and developing activities on the inland waterways of the nation with a headquarter in Lokoja, Kogi.
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We have 22 area offices across the nation and waterways links across 28 states in the federation and this statistic has shown that about 60 per cent of cargoes coming into Nigerian ports are destined for the South East of the country.”
Moghalu thanked the IGP for the cooperation the force had been rendering to NIWA Inland Police Command, while also appealing for more cooperation in some areas of challenges the authority faced such as; lack of gunboats, accoutrement and anti-riot equipment.
He also urged the IGP to help remove some police officials illegally occupying some of the organisation’s premises which were by the law, under NIWA’s right of way at Onitsha Area Office; so that the authority could make better use of the place.
While responding, the IGP thanked Mr Moghalu and his management team for the visit and the good working relationship with the force, promising to find ways to support NIWA in its operations and also sustain the good working relationship.
What you should know
The Federal Government has expressed its desire to see to the takeoff of the Onitsha Riverport as part of the measures to decongest the Lagos ports.
The National Inland Water Ways Authority had in March 2021, made public its intention to move 1000 containers per trip from Lagos ports to Onitsha river port within a maximum duration of 4 days.
The Federal Government had in April 2020, issued operating licences to about 8 barge operators to move containers from Lagos Ports to Onitsha River Port and other inland ports through the country’s inland waterways.