The National Inland Waterways Authority (NIWA) on Thursday, disclosed that a concessionaire has proposed to construct road network for the Baro River port as part of efforts to commence full operations.
Recall that President Muhammadu Buhari on January 19, 2019, commissioned the Baro River Port in Niger State in what the administration counted as one of its major achievements.
Managing Director, NIWA, Chief George Moghalu disclosed this at a 2-day programme put together by the Association of Maritime Journalists of Nigeria (AMJON),held in Badagry, Lagos.
Moghalu who was represented by the acting Deputy Director ,Legal Service,NIWA Mr. Nasiru Biyakari said the Baro port now has a concessionaire who has already taken possession of the facility .
Even though the name of the concessionaire was undisclosed at the gathering , he noted that already the company has applied to the government in order to address the road infrastructure decay.
He said after the commissioning in 2019, the port suffered some setbacks due to the deplorable road network to the facility.
According to him, the independent concessionaire has agreed to take over the project from the major road down to the port for optimal utilisation.
“As I speak with you now we have an independent concessionaire who applied to take over the port and then construct the road so that it can start operations. Apart from that the federal government is looking on how the road will link Baro to Abuja.”
For Onitsha river port, Moghalu stated that the facility is already in full operation.
The Managing Director affirmed that NIWA offers a very critical role in the nation’s maritime industry through the execution of its mandate of developing the inland waterways of Nigeria and its regulations nationwide.
On the conflict between NIWA and the state government on waterways operation, he affirmed that the case has gotten to the supreme court noting that judgment will soon be passed to ascertain proper definition for the exclusive operational scope of the brown waters.
He also maintained that both the Lagos State Waterways Authority LASWA and NIWA has no dispute as the agencies are carrying out their responsibilities on the waterways.
Moghalu stated that the agency is under the constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria with three stages put in place by the National Assembly.
Giving some relevant sections on the Agency’s act, he explained that “the function of NIWA are mainly captured in section 2, 8, 9 and 28 of the NIWA Act Cap N47 LFN 2004. ”
By Roland Ekama