Oyetola commissions 15 boats in Kogi to boost water transportation

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Minister of Marine and blue economy Adegboyega Oyetola  on Tuesday commissioned 15 boats of different capacity 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 nations economy, adding that, the present administration is fully committed in ensuring that, the land water ways are well utilized both in terms of cargo shipment and passengers transportation.

“Out of 15 boats we are commissioning today, it comprises of three with 150 horse power to ensure that NIWA Police officers are more visible. We also have five boat with double scintillating horse power for enforcement of safety rules and regulations. Another is one gun patrol boat, combat ready with five horse power for emergency response to security threat and 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 projects is in further fulfilment of our commitment to ensuring that our in land water ways are well utilized both in terms of cargo shipment and passengers transportation.

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

“I am not surprised that NIWA is keying into the concerted effort of achieving the economic growth of the renewed hope agenda of this administration. I must commend the management of NIWA for their visionary intervention in ensuring that the water transportation growth comes alive after several years of being in the pipelines.

“Am aware that out of the 10,000 kilometers of our water ways, only 3000 kilometers are navigable. We are determined to increase them by at list 2000 kilometers more. That is why it is desirable for us to embark on an holistic dredging of scientifically important inland water ways for the passage of goods and people. This is a task that must be accomplished to create a positive change and leave a lasting legacies for generations to come”.

He added that the Ministry is currently engaging with relevant stakeholders to finalize the arrangements and disbursement of funds for the development of the maritime sector.

He said “As a ministry, we will continue to create an enabling environment, develop policies and offer the necessary support to grow the inland water ways segment of the maritime sector in line with the renewed hope agenda of President Tinubu.

” In line with the mandate of the ministry of Marine and blue economy, we will continue to pursue vigorously the development of the shipping and maritime related sectors in order for ensure sustainable development in our marine resources”.

The Minister called on the private sector to explore and utilize the opportunity in the maritime sector for possible investment and partnership with 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 to look inward to avert future occurrence.

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

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

In his address, the Kogi State Governor Alhaji Ahmed Usman Ododo who was represented by his Deputy Joel Salifu Oyibo disclosed that the State will continue to key into the renewed hope of President Bola Ahmed Tinubu.

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