Danladi Ibrahim, Acting Managing Director, National Inland Waterways Authority, NIWA, has commended the Federal Government’s effort to tackle insecurity challenges on Nigeria waterways.
Ibrahim disclosed this in an interview with the News Agency of Nigeria in Abuja on Monday.
He said that since 2015, when the present administration came on board, the face of maritime has changed and insecurity has been reduced to the minimal.
Ibrahim said: “NIWA has achieved a lot since 2015, the development of inland waterways system in Nigeria was accelerated in 2015 when the present regime came on board.
“I will tell you that it has been minimal, we have police command which patrol on a regular basis; we are also in collaboration with the Navy, Nigeria Security Civil Defence Corps for additional security.
“Actually, the security agencies are doing their best, you can see that the government is very keen and serious about curtaining this menace.”
The NIWA boss, however, said that the major challenge confronting the agency was inadequate funding, noting that the Federal Government had also worked on that.
He said: “The most challenge we have is inadequate funding but that had also been drastically reduced by the present regime, we have the problem of inadequacy of manpower, we are grossly understaffed.
“In respect to that, we are planning on how to carry out mass recruitment of technical staff by first quarter of 2019.”
Speaking on the agency’s Bill before the National Assembly, Ibrahim said that the bill seeks to create financial independence for the agency.
He said that the bill has been passed by both chambers and what was left now was a conference of the two chambers to harmonise the two bills, which would commence by next week.
He said: “The bill is all about creating financial independence for NIWA and also to address the conflict between NIWA and its sister agencies and the state governments.
“It aims to create an enabling environment for the private sector to come into the development of inland waterways.”