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Oyetola set to commission 12 boats, 3 Water Ambulances at NIWA headquarters

By Our Correspondent

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

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

In a statement made available to media organisations, among the projects to be inaugurated are12 fibre-reinforced plastic fast-moving boats and three Water Ambulances. The deployment of the boats, which are pilot schemes, are part of deliberate efforts to phase out wooden canoes with a view to eliminating incessant accidents on the waterways.

Speaking on the proposed visit, the NIWA MD, Oyebamiji, noted that he was elated about the planned visit by the minister noting that this would afford his team the opportunity to render 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.”

 

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