(By Udeme Clement):
The Managing Director, National Inland Waterways Authority (NIWA), Chief Dr George Moghalu, has paid a working visit to the Acting Inspector General of Police (IGP), Usman Alkali Baba, at the Police headquarters in Abuja.
The working visit provided ample opportunity to discuss part of preparative and protective measures taken by NIWA to have seamless exercise in shipment of cargo from Lagos Ports to Onitsha River Port.
During the visit, NIWA boss sought collaboration and cooporation of the Police in providing adequate security for the second test-run of cargo shipments from Lagos to Onitsha River Port, in a bid to decongest the Ports in Lagos State.
Chief Moghalu said; “The purpose of our visit is to seek collaboration with the Police force, in building a synergy for our inland waterways operations; most importantly now that we are about to commence the second phase on test-run of cargo shipment from Lagos to Onitsha.”
The MD of NIWA also said; “NIWA is a Federal agency saddled with the responsibility of regulating and developing activities on the Inland waterways of the nation, with headquarter in Lokoja, Kogi State. We have 22 area offices across the nation and waterways links across 28 States in the federation.
“Statistics have shown that about 60 percent of cargoes coming into Nigerian Ports are destined for South Eastern part of the country.”
Speaking further, Moghalu thanked the IG for kind cooperation the Police force has been rendering to NIWA Inland Police Command.
He appealed for greater synergy in some areas of challenges the Authority is facing such as; lack of gun-boats, accoutrement and anti-riot equipment.
He also said the IG should help in vacating Police officers illegally occupying some of the organisation’s premises, which is by law under NIWA’s right of way at Onitsha Area Office; so that the Authority can make better use of the place.
However, NIWA MD congratulates Acting IG for his appointment as the new Police boss by Mr President, wishing him a successful tenure.
Responding, Alkali Baba thanked NIWA boss and his management team for the visit.
His words; “I thank you for coming to congratulate me and intimating me with the developments and challenges you are facing in your organisation.
“We have a cordial working relationship with NIWA. We also recognise the kind cooperation NIWA is rendering to inland and marine Police, though we still need improvement in these areas.”
“To have gun-boats is capital intensive but the Force will look for a way on how to support NIWA in its areas of operations.”
The IG disclosed that he was once the head of Marine Police when he was AIG. So, that made him to know much about NIWA and all operations in the maritime sector.
He promised to sustain the good working relationship with NIWA in all its areas of operations. And also to provide the organisation with every support where necessary.
During interview with the press after the meeting, MD of NIWA added that the visit also aimed at allaying the fears of cargo owners and to build their confidence on the test-run exercise from Lagos to Onitsha.
Among the management team who accompanied the MD to the visit include; Barrister Danladi Ibrahim (GM Legal services, Company Secretary and legal adviser), DCP Shettima Zanna (Head of NIWA Police Command), Alhaji Yusuf Gire (GM Finance and Account), Engr Ostia Anazado (Technical Adviser to the MD), Mr Abdullahi Dabai (GM Human Resources and Admin), Mr Jibril Darda’u (GM Corporate Affairs), Mr Ibrahim Isyaku Sade (GM Procurement) and Barrister Nasiru Biyankari (DGM legal services).