Oyetola to Commission Projects During Working Tour of NIWA Headquarters

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 The Minister of Marine and Blue Economy, Adegboyega Oyetola, will undertake a one-day working visit to the National Inland Waterways Authority (NIWA) headquarters in Lokoja, Kogi State, on Tuesday, June 11.

This was announced in a statement by the Minister’s spokesman, Ismail Omipidan, on Saturday.

The visit will provide the Minister an opportunity to inaugurate several landmark projects and programs executed by NIWA under the leadership of Managing Director Bola Oyebamiji over the past seven months.

Among the projects to be inaugurated are 12 fibre-reinforced plastic fast-moving boats and three water ambulances. These initiatives are part of a strategic effort to phase out wooden canoes and reduce frequent accidents on the waterways.

NIWA MD Bola Oyebamiji expressed his excitement about the visit, highlighting that it will allow his team to present their progress since he assumed office.

“After receiving my appointment letter six months ago, the Minister charged me with finding a lasting solution to the frequent accidents on the waterways. Today, I am pleased to report that we have implemented measures to address this issue,” Oyebamiji said.

He further detailed that the first step was ensuring the Inland Waterways Transportation Regulation (2023) for safety regulations was gazetted. This process had been pending for many years but was completed within six months. The new code, which will be launched by the Minister on Tuesday, will guide the operations of boat operators, regulate passenger conduct, and provide a framework for potential investors in water transportation, aiming to significantly reduce accidents on the waterways.

Additionally, the Minister will inaugurate three water ambulances to enhance search and rescue operations on the inland waterways. These ambulances will be deployed to Lagos, Port Harcourt, and Niger, where water traffic is particularly heavy.

“This year’s achievements are significant steps towards improving safety and efficiency on our inland waterways,” Oyebamiji concluded.

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