A speedboat operator
plying Okrika-Port Harcourt route in Rivers State, Mr. Tamunotonye Kienka Bamson, has called on the National Inland Waterways Authority (NIWA) and the Nigeria Maritime Administration and Safety Agency (NIMASA) to live up to their expectations.
Bamson, who made the call in a chat with our correspondent in Port Harcourt last Tuesday noted that the two federal government agencies had not been doing enough in their statutory roles to the marine operators and residents within the riverine areas of Nigerian inland waterways in terms of safety and security of the people.
He said the agencies were saddled with the responsibilities of ensuring that the waterways were safe for navigation and security of lives and property of all mariners in Nigeria, but observed with dismay that not much had been achieved in these roles as the rate of sea piracy has been on the increase, wrecks littered along the waterways, no safety cautions and proper enlightenment of all marine operators, stressing that time had come for them to brace-up and justify their calling.
According to him, the recent challenges on Nigerian waterways and boat mishaps are becoming alarming and called for urgent proactive measures to curtail the menaces and save lives.
On the indiscriminate parking of tug boats, barges and the wrecks along Okrika-Port Harcourt sea route, Bamson said it is posing a great concern to the speedboat operators and called on the relevant agencies to also look into the issue with utmost urgency.
He however solicited for a regular sensitisation talk on security and safety on sea as well as all stakeholders meeting on water transport to have a water transport code as that of the road transportation.