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Oyetola on working tour of NIWA

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… To commission projects

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

This was disclosed in a statement made available to our Correspondent by the spokesman to the Minister, Ismail Omipidan, on Saturday.

The visit, the minister’s aide noted, would afford the Minister the opportunity of inaugurating some of the landmark projects and programmes executed by NIWA, under the leadership of the Managing Director, Bola Oyebamiji, in the last seven months.

Among the projects to be inaugurated are: 12 fibre-reinforced plastic fast-moving boats and three Water Ambulances.

The deployment of the boats, which are pilot schemes, is part of deliberate efforts to phase out wooden canoes with a view to eliminating incessant accidents on the water ways.

Speaking on the proposed visit, the NIWA MD, Oyebamiji, declared that he was excited about the visit, as it would afford his team the opportunity to render its stewardship account in the last seven months of assumption of office.

He further said “After receiving my appointment letter about six months ago, the Minister charged me to find a lasting solution to incessant accidents on the Waterways. Today, I am happy to note that, in response to that charge, my team and I have already put measures in place to address that situation.

“The first thing we did was to ensure that the Inland Waterways Transportation Regulation (2023) for safety regulations on the inland waterways was gazetted. The process to have the code gazetted had been on for so many years. However, within 6 months, we have been able to conclude the process. The code would be launched by the Honourable Minister on Tuesday. Once launched, it will guide the operations of boat operators on the inland waterways, regulate the conduct of passengers using the waterways; and
provide a framework for potential investors in water transportation. This, would no doubt help to eliminate incessant accidents on our Waterways.

” Also, the minister is expected to inaugurate three Water Ambulances for prompt search and rescue operations on the Inland Waterways. These ambulances would be deployed to Lagos, Port Harcourt and Niger where the water is heavy,” Oyebamiji explained.

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