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FG Introduces Water Transportation Code to Address Boat Accidents

Minister of Marine and Blue Economy, Adegboyega Oyetola

The water transport code has been unveiled by the Federal Government through the Ministry of Marine and Blue Economy.

The Minister of Marine and Blue Economy, Adegboyega Oyetola, introduced the code while visiting the head office of the National Inland Waterways Authority in Lokoja, the capital of Kogi State. This visit took place on Tuesday and lasted for one day.

The minister also launched a number of significant projects designed to improve the operational capabilities and safety standards of Nigeria’s inland waterways.

Oyetola stated that the newly implemented regulatory code aims to effectively standardise water transportation, reduce the occurrence of accidents, and establish a well-organized framework to attract potential investments.He highlighted the crucial significance of the maritime sector in enhancing Nigeria’s trade balance, bolstering the value of the naira, and generating employment opportunities.

“The Federal Ministry of Marine and Blue Economy aims to fully utilise the unique benefits of our maritime resources, in accordance with President Bola Tinubu’s Renewed Hope Agenda,” he stated.

The ex-governor of Osun State praised the administration of NIWA for their diligent work in successfully implementing this crucial law.Other initiatives that were launched include fifteen boats of different sizes and functions, which were specifically developed to improve monitoring, safety enforcement, and emergency response on Nigeria’s waterways.

The fleet consists of three surveillance boats, five safety enforcement boats, one gun patrol boat, a 62-seater passenger boat serving as a pilot programme to replace traditional wooden canoes, three water ambulances, and two hydrographic vessels. During the discussion of the ministry’s objectives, the Minister disclosed the objective of expanding navigable waterways by a minimum of 2,000 kilometres through extensive dredging.

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In addition, he discussed the current initiatives to complete the distribution of the Cabotage Vessel Financing Fund, which is intended to facilitate the growth of the marine industry.The minister urges the private sector to allocate resources and collaborate with the government, utilising the abundant prospects in the maritime industry to promote long-lasting progress.”We will persist in establishing a conducive atmosphere, formulating supportive regulations, and providing essential aid to foster the growth of the Inland Waterways sector,” he guaranteed.

The Governor of Kogi State, Usman Ododo, expressed his appreciation to President Bola Ahmed Tinubu for selecting a highly qualified individual as the Managing Director of NIWA, as conveyed by his deputy, Salifu Joel.

During our journey here, our companions inquired about our destination, to which I said that we were attending an NIWA event. Their question was, ‘Which one is NIWA?’ Thus yet, NIWA remains unknown to everyone. However, our awareness of NIWA has increased due to the President’s appointment of a competent individual who is having a significant influence,” he clarified.

Bola Oyebamiji, the Managing Director and Chief Executive Officer of NIWA, expressed appreciation to the minister for his assistance and direction in implementing organisational changes and improving operational effectiveness in his welcoming speech.

The individual delineated the agency’s proactive initiatives, which encompassed the introduction of educational grants, promotional correspondence, and medical benefits for employees, with the aim of enhancing morale and productivity.

Oyebamiji emphasised NIWA’s efforts in engaging the public, responding to emergencies, and enforcing regulations, which resulted in the introduction of the initial stage of water marshal initiatives.

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“These initiatives, along with the introduction of the Transportation Code, demonstrate NIWA’s dedication to guaranteeing the security and effectiveness of inland water transportation,” he stated.