NIWA advocates emergency response unit for Nigerian waterways

Salisu Waziri, Abuja

The Nigerian Inland Waterways Authority (NIWA) and Enviro-Plus Associates, a non-governmental organisation is advocating for the formation of Nigeria Waterways Emergency Preparedness and Response Unit to reduce the numbers of causalities in boat accidents

The Programme Coordinator, Enviro-plus Associates Mr. Olubankole Omokieve said there are huge job opportunities in the Nigerian Waterways but due to poor management of the sector, investors are not investing in the business.

He said the formation of the Emergency Preparedness and Response Unit in Nigeria waterways will further save passengers lives and provide more job opportunities.

“There are a lot opportunities in the water transport business but the cost of starting is very high and now the Danger is very high because in some of the water ways there are no marine police, no communication networks so people find it difficult to make use of the water ways,” he said

Mr Omokieve added that Enviro-Plus through the support of the National Inland Waterways Authority had commenced the sensitization of boat users and passengers on the need to use life jackets before embarking on any journey through the waterways.

“We have visited many states in Nigeria educating them on safety on waterways with our campaign message of No Life Jacket No Travel and this has helped in saving more lives”   

He further called on citizens especially those living by the water banks to desist from dumping refuse in to the water as it affects the waterways.