The Federal Government has initiated move to commence the movement of cargoes from Lagos port to Onitsha River port as part of efforts to decongest the Lagos seaports.
Dr. George Moghalu, the Managing Director, National Inland Waterways Authority (NIWA), revealed this during a press briefing at the agency’s headquarters in Lokoja, Kogi State.
During the briefing which featured all heads of Maritime Agencies, who converged for the monthly meeting, Dr. Moghalu affirmed that cargoes fated for the eastern part of the country and the North-Eastern part would be evacuated to Onitsha River Port from where it would be moved to its final destination, if the policy becomes operational.
The MD also mentioned during the meeting that a committee was set up on multi–modal approach to cargo delivery. His words: “The committee also looked at the movement of cargoes from Lagos Port to Onitsha River Port and other ports within the country, putting to active use of the waterways, and also other related issues were deliberated.”
There was also a briefing from the Nigerian Railway Corporation (NRC), for its support on cargo movement from the ports to the dry port especially in Kaduna.
Furthermore, Dr. Moghalu stated that all the maritime agencies in Nigeria are working towards harmonizing their operations. Issues centering on maritime security and safety, development of manpower, enforcing protocols to reduce carnage on the waterways were discussed at the meeting. There were briefings from both NIMASA and NIWA; also the efforts made so far in the area of trade; in addition to the removal of wrecks which is being address by all the sister agencies in the country.
He avowed that the meeting will continue in line with the need to address issues orbiting round the maritime industry. According to him: “It is very important for us in the maritime sector to have decided to set up a platform we can share ideas, synergize where we can contribute our quota in developing polices and building the maritime industry. We will discuss to find solutions so that we can put them to use in our various establishments and at the same time bring solutions to the government at large”.