Niger Govt Plans Committee to Oversee Inland Waterways Safety
By George George Idowu
To address the recurring challenges of boat mishaps and flooding incidents in Niger State, the government has unveiled plans to establish a Standing Committee on Inland Waterways.
This committee aims to enforce strict adherence to water transport regulations within the state, ensuring enhanced safety measures for waterway transportation.
The announcement came during a courtesy visit by the Zonal Director of the National Emergency Management Agency (NEMA) North Central, Bashir Idris Garba, and his team to the government house in Minna on Monday.
Acknowledging the issues of boat mishaps, floods, and banditry, the Governor attributed many of the boat accidents to overloading.
He emphasized the necessity for the Standing Committee to collaborate closely with the existing department overseeing boat mishaps under the Ministry of Transportation, thereby regulating waterway transportation more effectively.
In terms of safety measures, the Governor disclosed plans for the distribution of life jackets to riverine areas for immediate use, aiming to mitigate the risks associated with water transport.
On the security front, Governor Bago highlighted ongoing efforts to combat banditry, citing positive outcomes from recent endeavors.
He stressed the importance of collaboration with NEMA, HYPPADEC, and other stakeholders in relocating people from flood-prone zones to safer areas.
In response, the Zonal Director of NEMA reiterated the agency’s commitment to streamlining operations and enhancing responsiveness to emergencies.
He outlined plans to organize workshops addressing mishap management while seeking support from all stakeholders.
The visit aimed to update the Governor on NEMA’s recent developments and initiatives, including the elevation of the North Central office to a directorate, aimed at improving efficiency in emergency response across the region.