The Managing Director of the National Inland Waterways Authority( NIWA), Mr. Munirudeen Hola Oyebamiji last week assured Nigerians of his commitment to stabilise NIWA’s financial standing, through efficiency and noteworthy service delivery.
Oyebamiji stated this in his maiden address on assumption of duty in Lokoja, saying he would draw heavily on his background as a banker.
He thanked both President Bola Ahmed Tinubu and the Minister of Marine and Blue Economy, Adegboyega Oyetola, for his appointment, describing them as great leaders with distinguished leadership styles.
“A lot of people arrived Lokoja last night, while others came in today. I appreciate the sacrifice you made to be here and will not take it for granted.
“Ladies and gentlemen, my life has been marked by discipline and accountability.
“I was thrown into a very competitive sector early in my career. The banking sector does not support mediocrity in any form: your performance determines your placement and benefits.
“I had the uncommon privilege to learn and practice Classical Banking under the Doyens of the industry in the marine sector among others. NIWA can be performance-driven with your support.. Expectedly, these two values will be my guiding principles as a servant in this position.
“As Nigerians, we need to approach our national challenges with a renewed resolve. We just must begin to do things differently if we hope to achieve different results. I therefore bring to you a campaign of renewed hope that things can be better and that things, indeed, will get better with our combined efforts.
“As an agency, our mission is clear, and our objectives are achievable. For Nigeria to attain her full economic potential, all sectors, including the inland waterways, must be primed to support efficient and effective service delivery.
“I therefore plead for your cooperation, dedication, and doggedness as we approach the tasks before us. Like Mr. President said days ago, let us delete every line of division in our daily activities. It is time for all hands to be on deck. We cannot afford to fall, and we will not fail.
“In the coming days, we shall unveil our programmes and activities, in line with Mr. President’s charge and the mandate of the Ministry of Marine and Blue Economy.
“I am an advocate of an “open door” policy where everyone matters. As the captain of this ship, I shall always make myself available to everyone. I look forward to receiving your suggestions, criticisms, and commendations (when we deserve them)”, the NIWA Boss stated further, soliciting the workers’ support and prayers.
Meanwhile, the Association of Tourist Boat Operators and Water Transporters of Nigeria (ATBOWATON) has hailed the appointment of the NIWA’s new Managing Director, Mr. Munirudeen Oyebamiji by President Bola Ahmed Tinubu.
The association with strategic presence across the 28 littoral states in Nigeria noted that the appointment was timely as it will stabilise the apex brown water regulatory agency to ensure sustainable growth and safety measures on the waterways transportation ecosystem in the country.
ATBOWATON stressed that the minister of the Marine and Blue economy, former governor of Osun State, Mr Adegboyega Oyetola did his homework well in respect of the new appointee.
Dr. Gani Tarzan Balogun, National President of ATBOWATON, in a press statement called on the new NIWA managing director to help champion a new life of life for indigenous boat operators, particularly in areas of training and retraining, safety awareness, and funding opportunities to acquire operational spare parts and watercraft for its members.
He also advised the new NIWA Boss, a former Commissioner for Finance in Osun State, to critically reappraise developmental goals and expectations of NIWA, enthrone and conserve strategic growth targets, and create an enabling environment for serious private sector participation and visibility on water transportation, maritime tourism and the dredging of waterways space across the country.
Balogun who assured the new NIWA boss of ATBOWATON support, further advised him to wear his life jacket, take to practical oversight of the huge waterways potentials across the country, factor quick wins, and collaborate with the private sector and relevant agencies in government to champion and change the narratives of NIWA.
To administratively make NIWA easy to reach and engage the ATBOWATON leader who has been at the forefront of the campaign to open up the national waterways space for investment in recreation, logistics, and new maritime cities, appealed to the NIWA boss to move the body’s corporate head office to Abuja or Lagos, away from the Lokoja backwater location.
“Lokoja should serve as an area office and in view of the fact that most critical agencies of government are in Abuja, makes it easy for inter-agencies relationship and visibility, as NIWA cannot afford to hide in Lokoja and expect to be reached easily by its publics and the over sighting ministry,” Balogun said further.