The Managing Director of the National Inland Ways Authority (NIWA), Munirudeen Oyebamiji, has clarified that NIWA was not working at cross purpose with the Nigerian Ports Authority (NPA).

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He made this clarification at the Association of Maritime Journalists of Nigeria (AMJON) 2023 conference and awards which held in Rockview Hotel Apapa.

According to him, the functions of the two agencies had been made easier following the creation of the Ministry of Marine and Blue Economy.

Oyebamiji, who was represented by the NIWA’s GM, Business Development, Surveyor Olumide Adetola, also called for the dredging of the waterways serving the eastern ports to reduce congestion at the Apapa ports.

“The government has to focus on dredging the waterways in east to enable businessmen directly berth goods at the eastern ports like Onne, amongst others,” he said during the paper presentation.

Speaking during his paper presentation, he said the nation’s waterways resources were grossly underutilized and underdeveloped.

“In order to elicit efficient, prudent and profitable utilization of the waterways transport system, the Federal Government must transform waterway infrastructure facilities in line with shared vision and initiative towards modern competitive multi-modal water transport system with best practices and service consistence with current global standards, the NIWA boss said.

Adetola said the huge infrastructural deficit grossly affected the waterways transport system in Nigeria. He said the improvement in the institutional structure and features of waterways and its associated public utilities are essential to attain economic growth.

The event was witnessed by top industry players in the public and private sectors including the Nigerian Ports Authority, Nigerian Maritime Administration and Safety Agency, Maritime Workers Union, among others.