Waterways Authority Bill Excites Marine Operators

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Some marine operators who participated at a one-day public hearing for the newly proposed Rivers State Waterways Authority Bill 2017 have expressed hope that better days are ahead if it the bill sailed through.
The marine union members in a chat with newsmen shortly after the event held at the Assembly complex last Thursday said he bill was long-awaited considering current development in the sector.
A representative of marine operators from Bonny said if the waterways were properly regulated, it would enhance safety for both commuters and boat owners.
He stressed the need for the various ministries listed in the bill to work in such a way to avoid clash of interest and duplication of functions.
On his part, Bartholomew Etete of the Port Harcourt Tourist Beach Boat Operators Union said, “we love the bill because it will improve security and reduce sea piracy”.
Etete said since the bill proposed workers to monitor and regulate activities of marine operators within the state, government should ensure that security agencies are empowered more than before to check insecurity on the waterways.
Another operator, Peremobowei Livinus reassured that the bill will enhance effective operations and empower boat owners to create more employment.
He further submitted that if more opportunities were created in the sector, more hands would be engaged and unemployment drastically reduced.
Earlier in his presentation, Commissioner for Transport, Mr Ibibia Walter said a new law to revamp the marine sector was key in reforming it to meet present day challenges.
“I have found out that the bill is a multi-million naira one with enormous revenue base. Therefore the Rivers State Waterways Authority Bill 2017 is welcome”, Walter further said.