- As new jetty concessionaire, boat operators emerge
The Calabar-Cameroon inland waterways are expected to record an increase in boat traffic with the emergence of a new jetty concessionaire and more investments in flat-bottomed boats.
Engr. Stanley Onuoha, Area Manager, Calabar, National Inland Waterways Authority (NIWA), disclosed this during an exclusive chat with News Diet recently.
His words: “By August, we will be having a very massive flat bottom vessel that would will carrying passengers and cargoes. Sea Express is the lucky operator that got the contract and we expect the waterway to be a busy one during the latter part of the year.”
“We also have a concessionaire that is putting everything in place for the jetty and appropriate facilities to ensure this inland waterway voyage works.”
Onuoha maintained that NIWA is paying serious attention to the declining traffic on the Calabar-Cameroon waterways since his recent posting to Calabar as the Area Manager.
Speaking on the recent boat mishap in Calabar, he stated that there were lapses in the past which culminated to the boat mishaps but NIWA has taken steps to correct the challenges.
“Our enforcement actions have been heightened as we have shut down the marina resort where the mishap occured. We are currently prosecuting the boat operator because laxity was part of the problems. Both the jetty facility and the boat operator weren’t registered with NIWA. ”
“These mischievous operators carry out their activities during the period they know our officials wouldn’t be on the waterways for inspection especially on weekends. They used a boat that wasn’t seaworthy to carry out that operation. We are going to prosecute them to serve as a deterrent to others who may want to emulate them,” he remarked.
Meanwhile, he opined that armed robbery and kidnappings on the waterways have been minimized drastically as a result of the activities of the Nigerian Navy and Marine Police in collaboration with NIWA.