FG Commissions 15 Boats in Kogi to Boost Water Transportation

Adegboyega Oyetola

The Federal Government on Tuesday commissioned 15 boats of different capacities to boost water transportation in Kogi State and other parts of the Country.

Speaking during the Commissioner ceremony at the National Inland Water Authority, (NIWA) headquarter in Lokoja, the Minister of Marine and Blue Economy Adegboyega Oyetola noted that the commissioning of the new boats is in line with the renewed hope of President Bola Ahmed Tinubu.

According to the former Osun State Governor, the maritime sector plays a strategic role in the nation’s economy, adding that the present administration is fully committed to ensuring that the waterways are well utilized both in terms of cargo shipment and passenger transportation.

“Out of 15 boats we are commissioning today, it comprises three with 150 horsepower to ensure that NIWA Police officers are more visible. We also have five boats with double scintillating horsepower for enforcement of safety rules and regulations. Another is one gun patrol boat, combat-ready with five horsepower for emergency response to security threats and a 162 seater passenger boat as a pilot scheme to replace the wooden passenger canon.

“We also have three fully equipped water ambulances for prompt response to emergencies and many more. The inauguration of this project is in further fulfilment of our commitment to ensuring that our in-land waterways are well utilized both in terms of cargo shipment and passenger transportation.

“We are all aware of the need to improve Nigeria’s manners of trade which is very crucial in strengthening the value of the naira and creating employment in line with Mr President’s policy agenda.

Considering the strategic role that the maritime sector plays in actualizing this noble objective, the Federal Ministry of Marine and Blue Economy is determined to ensure the actualization of the comparative advantages that our maritime resources present.

The Minister also called on the private sector to explore and utilize the opportunity in the maritime sector for possible investment and partnership with the government to enhance growth and ensure sustainable development

Earlier in his welcome remarks, the Managing Director/Chief Executive Officer, National Inland Water Authority, NIWA, Bola Oyebamiji

recalled that three fatal boat accidents were recorded in different locations of the country, adding that, it has made them look inward to avert future occurrence.

“We recorded not less than three fatal boat accidents on the waterways in different locations which challenged us for an emergency response strategy. We equally discovered a gap in our approach to enforcement on the waterways. Today, we are here to officially launch boats for public use, which will help regulate the conduct of passengers and provide a framework in water transportation. ” stated.

Oyebamiji, however, called for the speedy passage of the National Inland Water Authority (NIWA) Act which is currently before the National Assembly.

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