NIWA ready to partner private sector over maritime businesses promotion

The National Inland Waterways Authority (NIWA) has expressed its readiness to partner the private sector in promoting maritime businesses in the country.

The Managing Director of NIWA, Dr. George Moghalu, gave the assurance recently while inspecting the ongoing reactivation work at the Burutu Port in Delta State.

“We are ready to partner private sector players by creating the enabling environment, ease the regulations and a fair level playing field to help them grow their busineses,” he said.

The moribund port is being rehabilitated by a private outfit, Akewa-Colma Terminal Limited.

Moghalu said that the port would serve as a Trans-shipment of cargoes to hinterlands like Onitsha, Lokoja, Baro among others.

The MD said that it would also help to decongest the Lagos ports as well as ease the pressure on our roads.

“We intend to encourage this port to be a Trans-shipment port so that vessels can move from Lagos to Burutu then from Burutu they can move by barges to the various hinterlands.

“Burutu port is very strategic. Everyone is concerned about the congestion in Lagos. We are also concerned about how to move cargoes to the hinterlands

“Our roads are not designed for the loads they are carrying. They are not design to carry the weight they are carrying.

“In a civilised democracy and advanced countries, bulk cargoes are mostly moved by air  or water and ours cannot be different.

“We have over 10,000 km of inland waterway, what is required for us to do is to make our channels navigable all year round and put them into active use for the good of our people,” Moghalu said

While commending the management team of Akewa-Colmar Terminal for the good work, Moghalu said that the concern of the federal government was to make the port functional in line with it’s  diversification policies.

Also, Mr. Ebisinne-Kofee Amasuono, Senior Special Assistant to the Delta government expressed the state government commitment to the project.

“Government is ready to give assistance for it’s seamless operation by way of providing security and enabling environment,” he said.

The Chairman of Akewa-Colmar Terminal, Dr. Kenneth Duoye appreciated NIWA for considering the Burutu port as a Trans-shipment hub for container transportation from Lagos/Onne to Onitsha.

“This will be one of the greatest achievements of this management team as the Lagos congestion has become a major challenge to the Federal Government, Importers, Exporters and Shippers.

“We believe that by bringing all stakeholders into this arrangement, this congestion problem will soon be a thing of the past,” he said.

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