Abiola Seun |
The Managing Director of the National Inland Waterways Authority (NIWA), Dr George Moghalu has promised to resolve the frosty relationship between the agency and the Nigerian Ports Authority (NPA) over jetty revenue tax.
Speaking yesterday at a stakeholders’ meeting in Eket Akwa Ibom state, the Managing Director, Dr. George Moghalu said he would resolve all the issues with the NPA, as he would not be a party to double taxation.
According to him, ” it would be unfair if you task the stakeholders unnecessarily because, they are also helping to provide employment, as government alone cannot carry out the burden of unemployment in the country.
“What we do is to help the private sector to grow so that, the problem of unemployment is solved”.
Moghalu said the rationale behind the decision was that federal government alone cannot carry on with the burden of unemployment facing the country, and that, it would require the collaboration of the private sector to provide more employment opportunities to Nigerians.
Dr. Moghalu said in an effort to reposition the agency for more opportunities promised to commence issuance of licenses to boats and vessels operations on our waterways.
He said, the move would help regulate the operations of vessels/boats, as well as other business activities on the water right of ways.
The MD noted with excitement that, his visit to the Area Office in Akwa Ibom was to acquaint himself with the situation on ground, and meet the stakeholders in the sector saying that, he would want to build an end – to end relationship with effective the stakeholders.
He appealed to them to support NIWA as the agency could not afford to fail them
He also cleared the doubts on other issues such as; piracy/safety on waterways, facilities at the area office, enlightenment amongst others.
According to him, ”safety on our waterways is a major concern and the Nigerian Navy is very cooperative in addressing the issue of piracy as well as providing safety.
“Not long ago, there was a safety conference in Abuja organized by NIMASA, where several countries of the world were in attendance to fashion out solutions to water safety.
” NIWA today has a DCP as head of the security, and IGP, Mohammed Adamu has promised to release additional personnel to strengthen our security directorate”.
On the issue of facilities at the area office, Dr. Moghalu assured that he would do everything within his power to give it a face-lift while partnering with the state government on access roads.
While disclosing the agency’s readiness to enforce safety on waterways said, NIWA had signed an MoU with a firm to provide life jackets to water operators across the country waterways, as well as embark on enlightenment campaigns on television and radio.
Earlier, Dr. Moghalu paid a courtesy call on the Paramount Ruler of Eket, HRM, E. C. D. Abia, who urged him to open more jetties in the state, to create employment and promote water tourism.
The Royal Majesty said, Akwa Ibom was blessed with waterfronts, which could be useful to NIWA to generate more revenue and expand water trade.
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