The National Inland Waterways Authority (NIWA) and Nigeria Customs Service (NCS) have strengthened collaborations in a bid to prioritize safety and efficient regulation of waterways transportation in Lagos State.
Both organizations deepened this synergy when the newly appointed Customs Area Controller at Western Marine Command (WMC), Ibafon Apapa, Comptroller Oduadu Salefu led his management staff on courtesy visit to the NIWA Lagos Area Manager, Engr. ( Dr) Sarat Braimah, earlier today.
During the meeting, the new WMC Customs boss emphasized on the need to have strategic collaboration for an ecosystem that will calibrate new opportunities for brown water economy in the State.
Comptroller Salefu requested for NIWA safety protocol and engineering support to assist Customs Marine officers in their bid to deliver on their mandate and check revenue leakages and smuggling via waterways.
“We want our men on the waterways to operate within the best safety standards and we believe NIWA, as the regulator, can brush us up and even help us take a second look at our boat engines, to avoid incidents of breakdowns in the middle of nowhere,” Comptroller Salefu said.
He also asked the NIWA Area Manager to assist him in setting-up a joint patrol with NIWA Police, noting his deep self discipline and respect for extant regulations which will be robustly marshalled to change the compliance narratives, particularly on Badagry to Seme waterways.
According to him, this water channel is adjudged to be a very difficult and porous route for smuggling activities, but he expressed optimism that which strategic partnership with NIWA, the narrative will be changed on the route.
In her welcome remarks, the NIWA Lagos Area Manager, Engr. (Dr) Sarat Braimah informed the visiting Customs boss that NIWA in Lagos is open to collaboration to help sanitize activities on water transportation in the State.
“We shall assist you in the area of safety awareness and education, and every other possible way that can make your assignment easy,” Braimah assured.