As part of the preparative and protective measures taken by NIWA in order to have a seamless exercise in the shipment of cargoes from Lagos Ports to Onitsha River Port, the Managing Director of NIWA Chief Dr George Moghalu paid a working visit to the Acting Inspector General of the Police (IGP) Usman Alkali Baba at the force’s headquarters in Abuja.
This was contained in a press statement issued on Thursday by the GM Corporate Affairs, (NIWA), Jibril Darda’u which was made available to newsmen in Lokoja.
According to the statement, the MD sought the collaboration and cooperation of the police in providing adequate security for the second test-run of cargo shipments from Lagos to Onitsha River Port in a bid to decongest the Ports in Lagos State.
In his words, Moghalu said “the purpose of our visit is to seek for collaboration and cooperation of the police force to build a synergy in our inland waterways operations, most importantly now that we are about to commence the second phase of the test-run of shipping cargoes from Lagos to Onitsha.”
He also said that “NIWA is a Federal agency saddled with the responsibility of regulating and developing activities on the Inland waterways of the nation with a headquarter in Lokoja, Kogi State.
We have 22 area offices across the nation and waterways link across 28 states in the federation.”
He added that “statistics has shown that about sixty percent of cargoes coming into Nigerian Ports are destined to the South East of the country.”
Moghalu thanked the IG for the kind cooperation the force has been rendering to NIWA Inland Police Command, and also appealed for more cooperation in some areas of challenges the Authority is facing such as; lack of gun boats, accoutrement and anti-riot equipments.
He also requested the IG to help vacate some police officials illegally occupying some of the organization’s premises which is by law under NIWA’s right of way at Onitsha Area Office; so that the Authority can make better use of the place.
However, the MD congratulates the Acting IG Usman Alkali Baba for his appointment as the new Acting Inspector General of the Police by Mr President, and wish him a successful tenure.
Responding, the Acting IG of Police Usman Alkali Baba thanked the Managing Director of NIWA and his management team for the visit.
He thanked the MD for the visit saying the police force has had very cordial relationship with NIWA.
He also said acquisition of gun boats is capital intensive, promising that the police would look for ways to support NIWA in its areas of operations.”
The IGP disclosed that as a former head of the marine police as an AIG, he knew much about NIWA and all operations and activities in the maritime sector.
He however promised to sustain the good working relationship with NIWA in all its areas of operations.
Speaking during an interview after the meeting, the MD of NIWA said the visit is also aimed at allaying the fears of the cargo owners and build their confidence on the test-run exercise from Lagos to Onitsha.
Among the management team that accompanied the MD on the visit are Barrister Danladi Ibrahim (GM Legal services, Company Secretary and legal adviser), DCP Shettima Zanna (Head of NIWA Police Command), Alhaji Yusuf Gire (GM Finance and Account), Engr Ostia Anazado (Technical Adviser to the MD), Mr Abdullahi Dabai (GM Human Resources and Admin), Mr Jibril Darda’u (GM Corporate Affairs), Mr Ibrahim Isyaku Sade (GM Procurement) and Barrister Nasiru Biyankari (DGM legal services).