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Oyetola to Commission NIWA Projects in Kogi State

The Minister of Marine and Blue Economy, Adegboyega Oyetola, will embark on a one-day working visit to the National Inland Waterways Authority (NIWA) headquarters in Lokoja, Kogi State, on Tuesday, June 11. This visit aims to inaugurate several significant projects and programs executed by NIWA in recent months.

In a statement released on Saturday, the Minister's spokesman, Ismail Omipidan, highlighted that the visit would provide Oyetola the opportunity to inaugurate 12 fibre-reinforced plastic fast-moving boats and three Water Ambulances. These initiatives are part of a broader strategy to phase out wooden canoes and reduce accidents on the waterways.

NIWA's Managing Director, Bola Oyebamiji, expressed enthusiasm for the Minister's visit, noting that it would allow his team to showcase their achievements over the past seven months. Upon his appointment six months ago, Oyebamiji was tasked by the Minister to address the frequent accidents on the waterways. In response, his team successfully finalized the Inland Waterways Transportation Regulation (2023), which will be officially launched by the Minister during his visit.

Oyebamiji explained, "The Inland Waterways Transportation Regulation (2023) has been gazetted and will provide comprehensive guidelines for boat operators and passengers, as well as a framework for investors in water transportation. This regulation is expected to significantly reduce accidents on our waterways."

Additionally, the Minister will inaugurate three Water Ambulances designed for prompt search and rescue operations. These ambulances will be deployed to Lagos, Port Harcourt, and Niger, areas with heavy water traffic.

The visit underscores the Ministry's commitment to enhancing safety and efficiency in Nigeria's inland waterways, with the new measures and equipment set to make a substantial impact.
 
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