The management of National Inland Waterways Authority (NIWA) has reassured Nigerians of its resolve to ensure safe and economically viable waterways in Nigeria
Retired Vice Adm. Ishaya Ibrahim, NIWA’s Board Chairman, gave the assurance when he led members of the board on inspection to the Port Harcourt Area Office of NIWA.
Ibrahim, a former Chief of Naval Staff (CNS), also said that an economically viable inland waterways in Nigeria would be achieved when the waterways were charted and secured.
According to him Nigeria is sitting on a gold mine with various waterways that could boost safer and cheaper transportation industry.
“We are sitting on a goldmine but we do not know how to mine it. The white men came to Nigeria through the water.
“Any nation bound by water like Nigeria is a blessed nation. We need very little efforts to improve our life as a nation, through the waterways.
“But crude oil does not allow us to see the potential. Water is enough to sustain Nigeria. Nations dig canals for water to flow for goods and services to be moved.
“We do not only have canals in Nigeria, but God gave us the waterways and we are abusing them,’’ he said
Ibrahim also commended President Muhammadu Buhari for his interest in NIWA.
Similarly, Sen. Adeleke Mamora, the newly-appointed Managing Director of NIWA, said that transportation through waterways would no doubt reduce pressure on Nigerian roads.
Mamora, who described Nigeria as a blessed nation through its waterways, said that NIWA Amendment Act currently before the National Assembly would ensure a more effective, operational and efficient NIWA when passed into law.
The Area Manager of Port Harcourt Office of NIWA, Abdullahi Dabai, in his progress report, described the office as one of the oldest and largest area offices of the authority in Nigeria.