NIWA Area Manager, Sarat Braimah tasks WABOTAN on use of technology
The Lagos Area Manager, National Inland Waterways Authority ( NIWA) Engineer Sarat Braimah has advised the leadership of Waterfront Boat Owners and Transporters Association Of Nigeria ( WABOTAN), to embrace technology in all aspects of water transportation.
Mrs Braimah also mentioned the plan by the industry to benchmark new growth process and projects, which will innovate and drive templates to speedy advancement of brown water economy, targeting new jobs and contribution to national GDP.
Mrs Braimah made these assertions during a working visit to her office in Lagos, by the newly inaugurated association led by its President, Mr Tope Fajimirokun.
Speaking further, Engineer Braimah, disclosed that NIWA will encourage Associations and groups willing to partner with the Federal Government to move the industry forward. She enjoined WABOTAN to stay focused on its vision and aspirations, in order to avoid failure on its operations.
Her words : “We are monitoring your operations closely. We know you Mr President and your passion for the industry. Stay focused and avoid situations that may cause problems for the industry”.
The NIWA Area Manager emphasised that technology is the way to go in global markets and Nigeria water transportation economy cannot lag behind. She urged the leadership of WABOTAN to do things differently and showcase its membership profile, as well as location of business operations.
This, she said becomes imperative to enable NIWA capture and deploy technical support to put WABOTAN operations in perspective.
She pointed out : “We must identify your members and effectively engage them, to know what they will do, so that we can be well guided to ensure safety on waterways. Also to monitor your day to day activities.”
In his remarks, the President of WABOTAN, said the association with presence in all littoral communities and various States in the country, is out to address certain challenges in the industry. He stressed that WABOTAN has no business in being seen as a rival body but as progressive response to key developmental expectations by stakeholders in the sector.
He informed : “We are ready to bring new ideas, assist government to put measures in place to empower and create more jobs. We are willing to ensure the use of technology to operationalise water transportation business, train our members and effectively engage government towards improving the quality of service on our waterways.”
Mr Fajimirokun added that the association will stay out of confrontation and will deploy research findings to complement the process of developing policy growth issues by government to help escalate private sector investments in the sector.
OBSERVATION : Recall that Engineer Braimah and her team have been carrying out continuous sensitisation programmes at riverine communities in Lagos, to enlighten boat operators on safety rules on waterways. Her team has sensitised boat operators in various communities, including jetty owners and community leaders on safety measures for water transportation, even as free life jackets from NIWA have been distributed to many operators during the exercise.