As part of the preparative and protective measures to have a seamless exercise in the shipment of cargoes from Lagos ports to Onitsha river port, the Managing Director of National Inland Waterways Authority (NIWA), Dr. George Moghalu paid a working visit to the Acting Inspector General of the Police (IGP) Usman Alkali Baba at the force’s headquarters in Abuja recently.
During the visit, the NIWA boss sought the collaboration of the police in providing adequate security for the second test-run of cargo shipments from Lagos to Onitsha river port in a bid to decongest the seaports in Lagos State.
Moghalu said: “the purpose of our visit is to seek for collaboration and cooperation of the police force to build a 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.”
According to the NIWA boss, statistics have shown that about sixty percent of cargoes coming into Nigerian Ports are destined to the South East of the country and the utilization of Onitsha river port would decongest Lagos Ports.
Moghalu 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 challenge, such as; lack of gun boats, accoutrement and anti-riot equipments.
He also appealed to the IG to help vacate some police officials illegally occupying some of the organization’s premises which is by law under NIWA’s right of way at Onitsha Area Office; so that the Authority can make better use of the place.
However, Moghalu congratulated the Acting IG Usman Alkali Baba on his appointment as the new Acting Inspector General of the Police by Mr President, and wished him a successful tenure.
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.”
“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.”
Noting that acquisition of gun boats is capital intensive, he assured that the Force will look for ways 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 prepared him to fully understand NIWA and all operations and activities in the maritime sector.
During an interview with the press after the meeting, the Managing Director of NIWA added that the visit was also aimed at allaying the fears of the cargo owners and build their confidence on the test-run exercise from Lagos to Onitsha.
The NIWA management team that accompanied the Managing Director for the visit included; Barrister Danladi Ibrahim, GM Legal Services and Company Secretary, DCP Shettima Zanna, Head of NIWA Police Command, Alhaji Yusuf Gire, GM Finance and Account, Engr Ostia Anazado, Technical Adviser to the MD, Mr Abdullahi Dabai, GM Human Resources and Admin, Mr Jibril Darda’, GM Corporate Affairs, Mr Ibrahim Isyaku Sade, GM Procurementand Barrister Nasiru Biyankari, DGM Legal services.