By Sunny A. David, Awka
The increasing number of road accidents and dilapidation of Nigerian roads have been attributed to heavy burden of cargo trucks that ply the roads on daily basis.
The Managing Director of National Inland Waterways Authority, (NIWA) Senator Adeleke Olorunimbe Mamora stated this when he toured the Onitsha Water Ports, accompanied by other senior staff of the agency.
Senator Mamora lamented the level of rot, both in equipment, facilities and other infrastructure that are inadequately being used at the port.
Speaking with newsmen after his tour of the facility and equipment as well as the vast land at the NIWA premises in Onitsha, Senator Mamora said that NIWA Onitsha is a significant Area office that must be put to use through commencement of port operations in the area.
He assured that President Mohammadu Buhari is committed to ensuring that Onitsha River Port is reactivated through the ongoing concessioning engaged by the Federal Government.
According to him, the present administration wants to decongest Lagos port, since only twenty percent of the goods that land in Lagos stays in Lagos, whereas about eighty percent of them come to Onitsha from where they are distributed to other parts of the country.
Senator Mamora, described the NIWA Onitsha as the most lucrative Area Office in the country in terms of manpower and availability of land for expansion, hence the expectations for higher productivity.
Earlier in her welcome address, Area Manager, NIWA Onitsha, Mrs. Uche Amadi said that the Area Office generated the sum of Forty six million four hundred and forty four thousand two hundred and forty one naira, fifty kobo as at October 31, 2018.
She said the Area Office in a bid to boost and diversify her revenue base is reaching out to public, private partnership to develop and industrialize her floodable plains and right of way and is currently consulting with interested private individuals to reclaim vast areas for estate development.
She explained that they are also engaged in utilization of lanes along the water ways for reception, agriculture and cattle ranching, aimed at reclaiming swamps in Onitsha, especially, Nwangene River.
The Area Manager said that if given the necessary work tools, they will do better than what they are presently doing, and therefore, appealed to the Federal Government to provide them with operational vehicles.