The Executive Secretary of the Council, Barrister Hassan Bello made the call on Wednesday while inaugurating the Shippers’ Council/National Inland Waterways Authority (NIWA) technical committee on inland waterways in Lagos.
The committee is saddled with the task of ensuring seamless movement of cargoes through the inland waterways.
While speaking, Bello called on the government that the dredging and charting of the river channels is of tremendous importance to the development of the mode of transportation.
Other factors mentioned by the Council boss include; regulating inland waterways navigation, linking of the river ports with economic centres such as the Inland Dry Ports and Container Freight Stations and connecting the inland waterways with roads and the railways to facilitate movement of goods to and from the hinterland.
“Considering the important role of NIWA in regulating inland waterways operators, we look forward to the development of indigenous technical and managerial capacity for barge operations.
“It is pertinent that this sector is adequately standardised to ensure safe, secure and efficient service delivery for proper integration of barge operations into our nation’s transportation system to help decongest our seaports and facilitate multi-modal approach to cargo evacuation.
“Today, therefore marks a milestone in the path of a deliberate partnership between the Council and NIWA to promote transparency, confidence and efficiency in our nation’s transportation system. It will also help create employment for Nigerian youths and generate revenue for the governmemt,” he stated.
Responding, Chief George Moghalu, Managing Director of NIWA, lauded the collaboration ,saying the country could only make progress by moving cargo through the waterways
According to Moghalu who was represented by Engr. Joseph Orhorho, the cost of moving cargoes through the waterways was the cheapest means of transportation,saying this would help reduce cost of doing business.
He added that using the inland waterways as means of cargo movement would reduce the pressure on the roads, thereby enhancing durability of the roads.
The committee members drawn from both Shippers’ Council and NIWA include; Ms A.I.Ezedinma, Mrs A. V. Okam, Barrister T. H. Idris, Chief C. C. Agustin.
Others are: Barrister Danladi Ibrahim, Engr. Christopher Asindi, Engr. Joseph Orhorho and Surveyor Denis Osamwuta.
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