By Jibril Darda’u
The attention of the National Inland Waterways Authority (NIWA) has been drawn to an online publication under the above subject matter by Business and Maritime West Africa Editorial.
To begin with, it is not in our tradition to join issues with people on frivolous allegations, but we are compelled in order to set the records straight for the General Public to know the four years achievements of NIWA under Chief Dr. George Moghalu as the MD/CEO with facts and figures which are verifiable.
However, it is unfortunate to state that the writer did not make a proper research or he deliberately ignored the Landmark achievements under Chief Dr. George Moghalu as the MD/CEO of NIWA despite robust media publicity of activities NIWA recorded from 2019 to date. This made his write-up baseless, untrue and unfounded. A clear case of sponsored blackmail.
It is no longer a news that Dr. George Moghalu is a seasoned politician a technocrat and also a very successful private business man who aspired to the Governorship position in Anambra State before and after his emergence as MD/CEO of the Authority. That has not hindered his official performance in NIWA, rather he has infused his experience, culture and innovation of the private sector, leading to the success recorded in NIWA so far.
The successful concessioning of Onitsha River port; Onitsha River port which was built in the Second Republic during the Administration of Alh. Shehu Shagari and laid dormant until during the Jonathan’s Administration when it was rehabilitated and commissioned without putting it into use. But with the efforts of George Moghalu as MD of NIWA, he was able to break the Jinx and successfully completed the concessionning process and handed over the port to Elysium Consortium Limited which is now in operation and yielding economic value to the nation.
It is also on record that NIWA recorded the highest revenue generation under Moghalu’s Administration since its inception from above 1Billion Naira to over 11 Billion Naira. Thus making the Authority self-reliant on personnel cost and pulling out from the IPPIS.
A very important high point of Moghalu’s Administration has been the resuscitation of projects that had been in comatose for decades. This includes Lokoja River port, Oguta River port, Construction of Jetties and refurbishing of old ones for the benefit of Nigerians.
On the issue of boat mishaps, it’s unfortunate that the loss of human lives is labelled as a willful act of the Authority by the writer. NIWA regrets the loss of any life or property on our Waterways. And since Moghalu’s Administration, relentless efforts have been made at sensitizing boat operators and passengers, Training of boat operators in Port-Harcourt, Warri and Lagos, and the program is continuing in other states and enforcement of all safety protocols.
Free distribution of Life Jackets to boat Associations, recruiting water marshals to enforce our safety guidelines, search and rescue stations in Eleven (11) locations and the procurement of patrol boats.
For avoidance of doubts and in order to enlighten the General Public on the Landmark achievements recorded under George Moghalu, it is necessary for the Authority to mention amongst the following:
River training works from Baro to Warri, Construction of Jetty at Odekpe, Ogbaru LGA Anambra State, Construction of Jetty 2 at Yenagoa , Bayelsa State, Construction of 30 Man House Boat, HB Kpakiama with water sewage treatment plant, Rehabilitation of Yauri-Yelwa Area Office, Provision of floating Jetties at Lekki phase 1 and Oworonshoki in Lagos, Procurement of 3T, 5T and 25T forklifts at Baro Port, Procurement of one no (1) Mobile Boom crane 80 Ton at Baro Port, Increased Advocacy for compliance with Inland code, prompt Prosecution of defaulters of the Inland Waters Transportation Code with a view to ensuring deterrent to others, Enforcement of Covid-19 Protocols on all boat operators and passengers on Inland Waterways to ensure safety and health of all waterways users, Clearing debris and water hyacinth from the nation’s waterways in fulfilment of its environmental responsibilities, Reconstruction of collapsed fence at Onitsha NIWA Area Office, Commissioned a 36 seater ferry boat at Yelwa Yauri, Kebbi State, (NIWA Procured the ferry boat on behalf of Distinguished Senator Bala Ibn NaAllah).
The signing of Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) with the National Union of petroleum and Natural Gas (NUPENG).
During Covid-1 the MD introduced the reduction of ferry fares as part of its contribution to revamping the economy following the crippling effects of the pandemic, Management ensured the strict enforcement of Covid-19 protocols and guidelines as it affects the waterways in line with the recommendations of NCDC, PTF and global best practices. To cushion the devastating effect of Covid-19 on staff, the MD/CEO directed the distribution of palliatives to staff.
The MD engaged with stake holders, investors and potential investors on the various opportunities inherent in the nation’s waterways system, Procurement and distribution of life jackets to riverine communities, Enlightenment of riverine communities on waterways safety, Enforcement of operating permits and licenses, Removal of rickety water crafts from the waterways, Engagement with the Navy, Nigerian Police, and other relevant security authorities. NIWA formed partnership with them to safeguard the waterways.
Also, the Authority organized training programmes for boat drivers in Warri Delta State.
Gabion type shore protection works at the bank of River Niger at Ose, Ogbe-ljoh, Onitsha, Anambra State, Construction of 2Nos 500 ton barges, Construction of 1No Jet pontoon, Construction of 1No flat bottom Tugboat, Construction of 1No 30-man House Boat, Construction of 2Nos patrol boats, Construction of 1No pilot Boat (Keel bottom), Construction of 1No water Ambulance to enhance safety, search and rescue on our Waterways, Construction of 7 more water Ambulances, Rehabilitation of Port Harcourt and Warri Area offices workshops, Regular clearing of water Hyacinth, Debris and obstructions on Inland Waterways, Rehabilitation of 13-years-Abandoned defective water weed harvester (Yauri Area office), Construction of 1no Fire-Fighting vessel.
Construction of berthing facility at Lokoja dockyard for NIWA vessel’s mooring, Resumption of work on Lokoja River Port, Procurement of patrol Boats, Rehabilitation of the Warri Dockyard Harbour, Mapping/charting of right-of-way and navigational channels River Niger (Asaba-Onitsha Axis), Commencement of online Boat registration, Training of 400 youths on the safe handling of small crafts for ferry operations, Training and certification of passenger boat drivers and captains in Warri, Port Harcourt and Yenagoa Area offices. Training of 20 numbers NIWA Engineers and Technicians with Yamaha Motors of Japan in the repair/ maintenance of Yamaha outboard engines, Training of Port Department Staff on Port/Cargo handling and operations, Training of Staff on Electronic Registration and Information system for inland craft; Construction of shore protection work at Ose-Ogbe-ljoh, Onitsha.
Construction of NIWA Research & Development Centre at NIWA Headquarters, Lokoja, Extension of shore wall protection Works at NIWA Lagos Area Office, Construction of ferry Ramp at Jen, Taraba State, Fencing of Oguta River Port, Oguta, Imo State, Construction of Warehouse at Odekpe Jetty, Anambra State, Construction of Jetty at Illah, Delta State, Construction of Ferry Ramp at Nzam, Anambra State, Shore protection Works at Jamata Inland River Port, Design of Makurdi River Port Quay Facility, Construction of Groyne in proximity of Ajaokuta Wharf and Bridge, Provision of Terminal Facilities at lwopin Jetty, Ogun State, Rehabilitation of Jetty at Umaisha, Nassarawa State, Maintenance Dredging at NIWA Jetty Warri, Delta State, Rehabilitation/Reconstruction of NIWA Warri Wooden Jetty, Installation of navigational aids on Lagos Waterways, General Staff Training, Repairs and rebranding of the Authority’s official vehicles, Procurement of water Ambulance and deployed to Lagos, Donation of a ferry boat to Bagwai-badau community, Kano State. Sensitization awareness campaign on safety on our waterways nationwide, Free distribution of life Jackets to boat operators associations in 22 Area offices of NIWA across the Nation to curtail the incessant Boat mishaps.
Management retreat on five years development plan Agenda for NIWA, Regular clearing of water hyacinth, debris obstruction on Inland Waterways, Training of corporate Affairs staff to meet up with world public relations (PR) standard practice,
The official Flag-off of the survey and charting of the Lower River Niger and Benue in collaboration with the Nigerian Navy Hydrographic office, inspired by the Sea-Link implementation committee and funded by the NEXIM Bank.
Commissioning of NIWA jetty at Tin-can island Lagos, by Senator Dr. Olorunnimbe Adeleke Mammora the then Hon. Minister of State for Health, Building of new office complex at NIWA Headquarters Lokoja, Inauguration of Taskforce to patrol and enforce waterways protocols in the Lagos waterways. Which is being replicated in all Area Offices.
Construction and upgrading of new staff clinic at NIWA headquarters to NHIA standard, Construction and upgrading of staff offices at the headquarters, Procurement of Cargo Handling Equipment for Lokoja River Port (Reach Staker), Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA) of Lokoja River Port, Post Impact Assessment (PIA) of Baro River Port, Port Facility Security Assessment (PFSA) For Marina CMS Jetty, Flour Mill Jetty, Tincan Jetty, Warri Dockyard, Calabar Jetty, Port Harcourt Jetty. (ISPS Code Implementation), Training of Port and Environmental Services Staff on Port and Terminal Operations in Lagos, Training of Ports and Environmental Staff on Port Facility Security Officer (PFSO), ISPS Code Training, At Lagos, Upgrade Of Local Area Network (Wired & Wireless) In NIWA Headquarters, Procurement of Inverter System for alternative Power source for Finance Department and Corporate Affairs Sub Network in Headquarters, Procurement of Network Device for Computer Room, Provision of Internet bandwidth subscription in NIWA headquarters, Consultancy services for the digitalization of NIWA headquarters, Acquisition of computer gadgets and general upgrade of the authority’s computer room, Capacity building on Performance Management System (PMS) in Uyo, on monitoring/evaluation exercise, Acquisition and installation of tools for E-Monitoring and Evaluation (data capturing, and analysis and visualization), Acquisition and installation of tools for E-Monitoring and Evaluation (alternate power source and related office equipment), Procurement of consumables and repairs of photocopiers / printers, Provision of River Guide (PILOTAGE) Services, Procurement of Fire Fighting Vessels, Rehabilitation of workshop Machineries and purchase of Machine tools and accessories at Port Harcourt, Procurement of Water Ambulances for Lagos, Yauri, Port Harcourt, Warri, Onitsha, Calabar and Yenagoa, Removal of wrecks at NUN River, Bayelsa state, Construction of 26-35 capacity passenger ferry, Construction of 1 No. Boat for Monitoring of Dredging and other Activities on Inland Waterways, Construction of two (2) Nos survey boats for survey activities. The procurement and installation of Equipment/Devices for Electronic Register and Information System, Procurement of S & R Gadgets, PPEs, SSB radios and VHF.
Construction of Jetty at Kpakiama, Delta State, Extension of shore protection works at Jamata Inland River port, Kogi state, Construction of concrete hardstands at Iwopin Jetty, Ogun State, Construction of floating Jetty at NIWA Lagos Area office, Construction of a 2 storey building at NIWA headquarters Lokoja, Construction of detention facility at NIWA headquarters Lokoja, Construction of NIWA staff canteen at headquarters Lokoja, Upgrading of NIWA headquarters clinic to NHIA standard, Building of the Authority’s second Tugboat, Installation of solar-powered inverters in all the 23 Area offices and headquarters, Installation of solar-powered street lights in all the 23 Area offices and headquarters, Construction of passengers boat for use in the North, Wrecks removal within the Inland Waterways.
With the above submission, we hope the writer and the General Public are more enlightened and informed with the achievements of the George Moghalu Administration from 2019 to date.
Jibril Darda’u, the GM (Corporate Affairs)NIWA sent in this piece from Abuja.