NIWA Area Offices decry security challenges, inadequate manpower

The Area Offices of the National Inland Waterways Authority (NIWA) in Onitsha, Warri and the Onitsha River Port have cried out over the lack of functional vehicles, inadequate staff and conflicts with sister agencies as their major constrains in their areas of operations.

The two Area Managers and the Onitsha River Port Manager explained these constraints to the NIWA Managing Director, Senator Dr. Adeleke Olorunnimbe Mamora, when he visited those area offices as part of his familiarisation tour of NIWA facilities.

At the Onitsha Area Office, Mrs. Uchi Amadi, the Area Manager, said the Area Office in a bid to boost and diversify her revenue base was reaching out to the public, private partnership to develop and industrialise her floodable plains right of way and utilization of Island along the waterways for recreation, agriculture and cattle ranching.

She however, said their major challenges in the area office was inadequate staff, non-functional vehicles, challenges from sister agencies like Ministry of Solid Minerals Development over jurisdiction and the effort of the Authority at recovering some NIWA properties illegally occupied or annexed.

At the Onitsha River Port complex, the port manager, Mr. Baba Spencer, explained to the Managing Director that since the inception of the River Port, their mode of operations had been strictly port- related activities, that is, use of port facilities given as slipway, use of the port water front and occasional berthing of crafts.

The port manager cited issues of security as their major challenge.  He explained that the collapse of the perimeter fence by the port slipway and the lease to M & E dredging services as dumpsites were highly prone to security risk.

He further called for the reinforcement of the perimeter fence, maintenance of the port equipment, rehabilitation of the dilapidated fire services station and allocation of operational vehicle which the port does not have at the moment.

At the Warri Area Office, the Managing Director was received by the Area Manager, Engr. Tammuno Fiberesima who briefed him on the activities of the area office, which include berthing services, loading and off-loading services, rents of space and warehouse amongst others.

The area manager said the dockyard services, which is the slipway, was not operational now as it is undergoing rehabilitation.

According to Engr. Fiberesima, their major challenges include lack of functional vehicles, lack of functional boats for revenue drive and general patrol as well as lack of adequate staff and training.

In his reaction to all their requests, the managing director encouraged them and urged them to still put in their best to the growth and development of the Authority. 

On that note, the managing director promised to address the requests of the area offices based on merit and availability of funds, in order to meet up their official obligations. 
He urged all the staff to rededicate themselves at their places of work and that NIWA would continue to support them.