The Managing Director of the National Inland Waterways Authority (NIWA) Dr. George Moghalu says NIWA needs the cooperation of the Nigerian police for a seamless shipment of cargo from Lagos Ports to Onitsha River Port.
George Moghalu stressed that about sixty percent of cargos coming to Nigerian ports are destined to the South East, saying the essence of his recent working visit to the Acting Inspector General of the Police (IGP) Usman Alkali Baba in Abuja was to seek the support of the police for this assignment.
The NIWA MD noted that the cooperation of the police in providing adequate security for the second test-run of cargo shipments from Lagos to Onitsha River Port is in a bid to decongest the Ports in Lagos State.
Moghalu said “the purpose of our visit is to seek for collaboration and cooperation of the police force to build 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.
“Statistics have shown that about sixty percent of cargoes coming into Nigerian ports are destined to the South East of the country.”
He 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 gunboats, accoutrement and anti-riot equipment.
He also complained that the IG should help vacate some police officials illegally occupying some of the organization’s premises which are by law under NIWA’s right of way at Onitsha Area Office; so that the authority can make better use of the place.
Responding, the Acting IG of Police Usman Alkali Baba thanked the Managing Director of NIWA and his management team for the visit. He said, “I thank you for coming to congratulate me and intimate me with the developments and challenges you have in your organization.”
The IG further stated that “we have a very good and cordial working relationship with NIWA and we recognize the kind cooperation that NIWA is rendering to the inland and marine police, though we need improvements in the areas.”
He also said, “to have gunboats is capital intensive but the force will look for a way on how to support NIWA in its areas of operations.”
The IG disclosed that he was once the head of the marine police when he was an AIG, so, that made him know much about NIWA and all operations and activities in the maritime sector.
He however promised to sustain a good working relationship with NIWA in all its areas of operations and also to provide the organisation with every support where necessary.