Oyetola to inaugurate landmark NIWA projects during Kogi visit 

By Innocent Raphael 

The Minister of Marine and Blue Economy, Adegboyega Oyetola, is scheduled to embark on a one-day working visit to the National Inland Waterways Authority (NIWA) headquarters in the Kogi State, capital of Lokoja on Tuesday, June 11. 

The announcement was made on Saturday by the minister’s spokesman, Ismail Omipidan.

The visit will provide Minister Oyetola the opportunity to inaugurate several landmark projects and programs executed by NIWA under the leadership of Managing Director Bola Oyebamiji over the past seven months. 

Among these projects are 12 fibre-reinforced plastic fast-moving boats and three Water Ambulances, aimed at enhancing safety and efficiency on Nigeria’s inland waterways.

The new boats are part of a pilot scheme intended to replace wooden canoes, a move designed to reduce the frequency of accidents on the waterways. 

NIWA Managing Director, Bola Oyebamiji expressed excitement about the minister’s visit, highlighting the progress made since he assumed office. 

“After receiving my appointment letter about six months ago, the Minister charged me to find a lasting solution to the frequent accidents on the waterways. I am pleased to report that we have already implemented measures to address this issue,” Oyebamiji said.

One of the key achievements is the finalization and gazetting of the Inland Waterways Transportation Regulation (2023), which will be launched by the minister on Tuesday. This regulation aims to guide the operations of boat operators, regulate passenger conduct, and provide a framework for potential investors in water transportation, ultimately enhancing safety on the waterways.

Also, the minister will inaugurate three Water Ambulances intended for prompt search and rescue operations in Lagos, Port Harcourt, and Niger, areas with heavy water traffic. 

“The deployment of these ambulances is crucial for improving emergency response times and ensuring the safety of waterway users,” Oyebamiji noted.

The visit underscores the ministry’s commitment to modernizing Nigeria’s inland waterway infrastructure and enhancing maritime safety.

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