Niger State House of Assembly has called for partnership between the State Government and the National Inland Waterways Authority, NIWA to sensitize the people of the state on the dangers and opportunities they stand to achieve on the waterways in the state.
Making the call during an interactive session with the management of the NIWA Area office in Minna, the Speaker of the State Assembly Hon. Bawa Wuse, decried the poor manner the Baro Port was being dredged.
He stated, ” the house was informed that the dredging on Barro port was not properly done and cannot have a boat conveying goods from Lokoja to Niger State and this finding has discouraged us from harnessing the opportunities in it.”
Bawa also said nothing much is known by the people of the state on NIWA and stressed the need for authorities to carry out more sensitization to educate the public on what it is doing and what the people also need to do.
“There is a need for more public sensitization on what NIWA is doing and what they are supposed to do. NIWA should collaborate with the Ministries for Works and Transport to work on sensitization of our people.”
Speaking earlier on the activities of NIWA, the Manager, Minna Area office, Mr Adeboye O. Akapo, told the House that the state is not harnessing opportunities that abound in Barro port and other waterways in the state.
The NIWA Area Manager listed some of the opportunities at the Port to include Agro-allied linkages, Fisheries development, irrigation, Cargo handling services, Dockyardship repair services
Real estate /housing development among others.
Akapo also urged the lawmakers to come up with legislation on the compulsory use of life jackets and ban on night travels on the waterways.
He lamented that travelling on waterways without life jackets have claimed many lives in the country while recalling how a whole family of five perished on the waterways transport due to lack of adherence to the use of life jackets.