Thursday, December 22, 2016 11:29 am
Richard Elesho/ Lokoja
The National Inland Waterways Authority, NIWA, has attributed lack of funding and some legal framework as bottlenecks hindering the agency from achieving its aims and potentials.
The Managing Director of the agency, Mr. Boss Mustapha who revealed this yesterday in Lokoja during an interaction with members of the correspondent chapel, Kogi State, urged the National Assembly to expedite action on the passage of the NIWA Amended Bill which will address all the legal framework bottlenecks.
Mustapha said the bill when passed aside taking care of budgetary provision to the agencies, will also addressed the conflicts of overlapping jurisdictions between the sister’s agencies.
“The NIWA Act which has in the past gone through several attempt at amendment but with little or no success has finally gone through the 1st and 2nd reading and a public hearing. The bill has been laid before the senate for the 3rd reading and final reading.
“The new NIWA bill will address three fundamental issues: to enhance the enforcement capacity of the authority, to make the authority financially buoyant and independent, and to address the operation/jurisdictional conflict with sister parastatal, agencies and state government on one hand and NIWA on the other”.
Speaking on the activities of the agencies for the year under review, Mustapha said the agencies has made tremendous achievement, “The Baro river port is almost completed waiting for the procurement of Cargo handling equipment for the full operations and utilization of the port. The percentage of job completion for Bark port is 98%.
“The percentage of job completion in Lokoja and Oguta ports is at 58% and 70% respectively. These projects is being delayed because there was no appropriations for it in the last two years.”
He however said the Onitsha port will soon be offered for public private partnership, “The Certificate of Compliance for the concessioning of Onitsha River port has been received from ICRC. We are expecting the approval of Mr. President to enable the Transaction Adviser initiate the procurement of a concessionaire.”
Mustapha who listed Marina, Osborne, Apapa, Warri, Lokoja jetties as those to be leased, said work is still ongoing in Yenagoa, Buruku, Owerrinta, Idah, Oguruku, Okirika, Degema, Yauri, and Agenebode jetties.