The Federal Government (FG) has said it plans investing in water transportation in a bid to make it first choice for the Nigerian travelling public.
The government explained that it was investing heavily in the National Inland Waterways Authority (NIWA) and also began an upward review of salaries of the authority’s personnel.
NIWA managing director, Dr. George Moghalu said this in a chat with an agency reporter in Lagos.
He said NIWA has been evolving strategies aimed at boosting staff morale and that regular trainings are now conducted for all category of staff.
While he said the authority was tackling navigational challenges and accidents on the nation’s waterways, Moghalu added that NIWA has concluded arrangements to deploy ambulances in all its area offices.
He said: “I will like a situation whereby when I leave office as Managing Director of NIWA, if there is anything I want to have on record, I want it to be recorded in my favour that water transportation became the transport means of choice both for cargo and personnel.
“We have built world class beautiful jetties in some places, crafts, placed order for dredgers, addressing issues of navigational challenge, accidents on our waterways. Quiet soon, we are going to deploy ambulances to the various area offices and we have improved on the morale of our staff.
“As we speak now, there has been a salary review and we have done quite a lot of trainings for all cadres of staff while some are ongoing. Also, water hyacinth and floating debris are some of the major challenges on our highways and as we speak, we have done a lot of clearing. We are still doing it because it is not a one off thing.”
The Federal Government had said last November that it had approved the sum of N6.6 billion for NIWA, to boost water transportation in the country and increase revenue generation.
Moghalu had disclosed this when he appeared before the Senate Committee on Marine Transportation for the 2021 budget defense exercise.
According to him, the N6.6 billion was for capital expenditure of the authority in the proposed 2021 budget, which was essential to the completion of all ongoing projects.