The National Inland Waterways Authority (NIWA) says it will provide adequate life jackets as a safety measure for maritime operations.
Dr George Moghalu, Managing Director, NIWA, who made this known on Wednesday in Warri, Delta, said the authority had signed a memorandum of understanding (MoU) with a company to supply the life jackets.
Moghalu spoke at a meeting with NIWA, Warri Area staff and stakeholders consultative forum in Warri.
He said the purpose was to enhance safety on the waterways.
The director and his entourage had earlier inaugurated a Slipway project and also inspected some facilities at the NIWA, Warri Area office.
The managing director, who expressed satisfaction at the cordial relationship between the staff and the stakeholders, said the security of lives was crucial to the authority.
“We have all the facilities required to run a successful operations and, where it requires servicing our equipment, we do that.
“We talked to the Area Manager and staff to see how we can be involved.
“The important thing is to make the Warri Dockyard very functional.
“I am happy they have an organised association and there is synergy between the stakeholders and the organisation.
“We have already signed a MoU with an organisation to provide life jackets to all waterfronts.
“This is because we are very cautious of the fact that we need to do whatever possible, as an organisation, to address the issues of insecurity,’’ Moghalu said.
According to him, the lives of the people are very important and that is why NIWA want to ensure people that enter vessels are properly kitted.
“We want to make sure that all the boats on the water are permitted and certified.
“We also want to ensure that every boat driver is qualified and licenced.
“All boats and vessels that are not registered cannot operate in the regional waterways.
“We will impound the boat of any offender.
“For any boat to operate at night, it must be designed for it, because that is the period when accident occurs.’’
Moghalu also said that the authority would clear water hyacinth on the 10,000 kilometres of the inland waterways across the country, with the aid of it “swamp devil” equipment.
“NIWA has what we called `swamp devil’ equipment we used for regular clearing of some floating debris and water hyacinth on the waterfront,’’ he said.
Also speaking, Mr Isaac Tolar, Chairman, NIWA Warri Clients/ Stakeholders Consultative Forum, attributed the successes achieved at the Warri Area office in the last four years to cordial relationship between clients and NIWA staff.
Commenting, Mr Pius Oyiboaga, President, Igbudu host community to NIWA, urged the managing director to consider them in the award of minor or major contracts to further strengthen the existing relationship.
Earlier, the NIWA Warri Area Manager, Mr Adamu Sagir, promised that the Warri office would sustain the existing cordial relationship among the staff, stakeholders and the host community.