NIWA to Introduce Waterways Transportation Marshals

Tayo Oladipupo

The National Inland Waterways Authority (NIWA) has assured waterways operators that it would introduce special squad under the name “Waterways Transportation Marshals” to aid in monitoring and enforcing the safety rules within the brown waters.

Managing Director, NIWA Senator Olorunnimbe Mamora disclosed this during a chat with newsmen in Lagos last week.

As part of short term project, Mamora said the authority has commenced work towards ensuring to put an end to the existence of illegal jetties in the waterways, pointing out the new department would tackle such issues in due course.

The NIWA further revealed that it would embark on auditing boats and other crafts operating in the waterways to determine those that can be classified sea worthy.

He said “One of the things we are introducing is what we can call waterways transportation marshals so that they would be there not necessarily to start arresting people but what we are interested in is to continue to drum these things in and to take ownership of their own safety.

“Issue of security is everybody’s business and particularly, the users themselves.

“They need to take ownership of their own personal safety. So, that is the idea of the immediate response to these incessant accidents”, he said.

Speaking further, he notes “We also have some illegal jetties being operated, that’s where the issue of the waterway marshals will come in.

“The enforcement is not just in terms of the users, but the operators too. We must ensure that the crafts are registered, we will do audit of crafts in particular area and be able to say this one is waterway worthy or not and then do our enforcement.

We are also looking at the medium term in which case we will be doing a lot of patrol.

“Don’t forget, we have vast inland waterways coverage so we know our limitations in terms of personnel, logistics but we need patrol boats to be able to do this.

“We will also as much as possible within the funds available to us to be able to have the personnel and patrol boats to ensure this medium measures.

Also, speaking about the face-off between NIWA and LASWA, the M.D affirmed that the authority would seek for out of court settlement to encourage the flow of revenue drive for both parties involved in water transportation business.

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