Sampson Chima (Registrar, Nigerian Institute of Shipping)
I want to congratulate the newly-appointed MD of NIWA Senator Mamora, I commend his vision towards revitalizing NIWA administratively and operation wise. So far, I am happy with the extent at which NIWA is driving towards safe transportation and rescue operations. I believe with this spirit, the agency will get there.
The challenges, I believe is the equipment needed to combat the flooding that recently engulfed all the riverine areas. NIWA needs equipment to meet-up with its mandate as well as personnel. We have the qualified seafarers who have undergone series of training at the Maritime Academy of Nigeria (MAN) who have passed through special training in water activities as well as search and rescue operations. I will implore and advice the MD of NIWA should use the services of our Merchant Navies for these jobs. Also, there is the need to purchase functional patrol boats to enable them implement proper maritime safety in the inland waters.
Tunji Obagbo (Registrar, POTEMAN)
Nigerian Inland Waterways Authority, (NIWA) is to administer the usage of our territorial waters for transportation. Now, who and what are the caliber of the people that have been appointed there? The other time, it was one Mrs Chiroma that was appointed and she said she will learn about the authority within six month, our current MD too, a big time politician knows little or nothing about the authority. How long are we going to continue giving bricklayer's job to a welder? A professional is a professional; we should learn how to make use of those who knows about a profession not to politicize professionals.
Frank Meke (Maritime Stakeholder)
The question would have been, do people and stakeholders understand the mandate of NIWA? To your question, NIWA has done well in view of challenges facing it. Like the new MD said, NIWA is yet to get there but it has potential to change the face of water transportation.
Captain Tajudeen Alao (President, Master Mariners)
The stakeholders are not taking the issue of safety seriously. First and foremost, on the part of the government, you have NIWA, LASWA, NIMASA and somebody has control over the boats itself, how good is the boat, somebody also has control over the driver, how qualified and competent are the drivers and even the passengers, how well informed are the passengers? Secondly what are the punishments on the ground for contravention of all these laws, the fact that someone grew up by the water doesn’t guarantee the life of other people. So there must be recorded documentation that the operator is safe medically and certified to do the job. Over the years it was like that, but nobody tried to enforce it and the people that wanted to do implementation commercialized it, whereby emphasis is on revenue.
Comrade Mohammed Banko Abubakar (NIWA Zone, Merchant Navy)
I am satisfied with the measure on ground, our waterways are navigable; we have put so many things in place to make our waterways navigable. We have a lot of life saving apparatus in place which we supply to boat owners; we also ensure that they put it on before they move; just to secure lives. I want people to help us invest in the inland waterways, the roads in Nigeria are overcrowded and the loads on them are much. But if we invest in the waterways it will go a long way to help the roads in Nigeria.
Mr. Tarzan Balogun(President, ATBOWTON)
The position of our association is that we want safety on our waterways, so we are satisfied with the strategies put in place by NIWA to ensure safe and affordable water transportation and we are in support of any other policy or strategy that will make lives safe on the waters.