The National Inland Waterways Authority (NIWA), Onitsha Area Office yesterday disclosed its resolve towards developing and industrialising NIWA floodable plains and right of way for agriculture and cattle ranching.
The Onitsha area office manager, Mrs. Uchi Amadi, disclosed this during a tour of Onitsha and Warri area offices by the NIWA managing director, Senator Dr. Adeleke Olorunnimbe Mamora.
The area manager stated that she was also fine tuning how government could earn millions from the utilisation of islands along the waterways for both recreation and agriculture.
Amadi however complained that the area office was constrained by inadequate staffing, non-functional vehicles and challenges from sister agencies, particularly the Federal Ministry of Solid Minerals Development, over jurisdictional issues, in addition to the challenges of how to recover some NIWA properties, illegally occupied or annexed.
Expatiating on her observation, the port manager, Onitsha River Port complex, Mr. Baba Spencer, explained to the managing director that since the inception of the River Port, their mode of operations had been strictly related to port activities.
He identified security as the port’s major challenge, noting that the collapse of the port perimeter fence by the port slipway and the lease to M & E Dredging Services as dumpsites had unduly exacerbated the security issue into highly risk, security prone zone.
He also pleaded for the reinforcement of the perimeter fence, maintenance of the port equipment, rehabilitation of the dilapidated fire services station and allocation of operational vehicle which the port does not have at the moment.