- As FG appoints Oyebamiji NIWA Managing Director
Frontline private sector boat operators’ body, the Association of Tourist Boat Operators and Water Transporters of Nigeria (ATBOWATON), has expressed delight at the appointment of Mr. Munirudeen Oyebamiji as new Managing Director of National Inland Waterways Authority (NIWA), even as the group anticipates a new lease of life in boat operations.
The association, which has strategic presence across 28 littoral states in Nigeria, stated that the appointment was timely and will stabilise the apex brown water regulatory agency to ensure sustainable growth and safety measures on waterways transportation ecosystem in the country.
According to the group, the Minister of Marine and Blue Economy, and former governor of Osun State, Mr Adegboyega Oyetola did a thorough job in selecting Oyebamiji as the new NIWA boss.
In a statement issued on Thursday, the National President of ATBOWATON, Dr. Gani Balogun admonished the new NIWA Managing Director to help champion a new era for indigenous boat operations, particularly in areas of training and retraining boat operators, safety awareness and funding opportunities to acquire operational spare parts and watercrafts for its members.
He also advised the new appointee, a former commissioner for finance in Osun State, to critically reappraise developmental goals expectations of NIWA, enthrone, conserve strategic growth targets, and create an enabling environment for serious private sector participation.
The veteran boat operator also observed that NIWA can increase the visibility and patronage of water transportation, maritime tourism and prioritize the dredging of waterways across the country.
Dr. Balogun, however, assured the new NIWA boss of ATBOWATON support, further advising him to wear his life jacket and take to practical oversight of the huge waterways across the country.
“Oyebamiji has factor quick wins and collaborate with the private sector and relevant agencies in government to champion and change the narratives of NIWA”
“There is also a need to administratively make NIWA easy to reach and engaging. We suggest the movement of NIWA corporate head office to Abuja or Lagos, away from the Lokoja. 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-agency relationship, and visibility. NIWA cannot afford to hide in Lokoja and expect to be reached easily by its publics and the supervisory ministry” Balogun added.