By Modupe Gbadeyanka
The newly appointed Managing Director of the National Inland Waterways Authority (NIWA), Mr George Moghalu, has promised to work towards revamping the inland waterways system of Nigeria.
Nr Moghalu made this pledge when he delivered his speech at NIWA headquarters in Lokoja, Kogi State, where he resumed office after his appointment recently.
According to him, efforts would be made by his administration to continue with all ongoing viable and justifiable projects of the agency as long as they conform with due process and the act establishing the organisation.
The new MD noted that the overall policy objectives of NIWA was transforming the nation’s inland waterways to make them not just economically viable but also to provide a safe, reliable and alternate transport system to ease the problem of transportation and movement of goods across the country which makes the agency and important and strategic one, placing on a huge responsibility from which so much is expected.
He described the “inland waterways system [as] a critical component of the national freight system, particularly for movement of bulk commodities.”
According to him, “In view of the growing transportation needs particularly in moving bulk commodities, our country dearly needs diversification and development of its critical infrastructures in the area of Waterways transportation.”
After the appointment of Mr Moghalu last week by President Muhammadu Buhari, Chairman of the Anambra State chapter of the Civil Liberties Organisation (CLO), Mr Vincent Ezekwueme described this as the best independence gift to the Southeast region of the country.
“This is a welcome development and cheering news to the people of the Southeast and Nigerians. This is the best Independence gift to the Southeast. The President has provided the opportunity towards resuscitation of the moribund Onitsha seaport,” the group said in a statement.
Mr Moghalu was described in the statement “as a moralist, selfless, patriotic, humble, honest and servant leader” who was asked by the group to “bear the interest and social wellbeing of the citizens at heart by rehabilitating the decrepit and deplorable Onitsha seaport to boost economic activities in the Southeast, as well as give them a sense of belonging.”
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