- Lagos area pushes for remodeling to lift business
By Anthony Nwachukwu
The Federal Government has removed the National Inland Waterways Authority (NIWA) from the Integrated Personnel and Payroll Information System (IPPIS), thereby granting it autonomy, even as the agency’s yearly revenue generation hits N1 billion.
The Chairman of NIWA Board of Director, Sen. Binta Garba, told newsmen in Lagos that this autonomy would enable the agency raise revenue and remit to the federation account. Therefore, she urged NIWA Lagos to increase its annual revenue from N1 billion to N2 billion.
Excited at the autonomy, she said “they can now raise revenue to take care of themselves and also give a fraction into the federal government coffers.
“I want to thank the NIWA MD for putting some structures down and enhancing the status of NIWA, and making the staff happier than they used to be. That will make them do more for the agency.
“They should prioritise their needs and the MD will look into them. From N600 million revenue, they have exceeded the N1 billion mark in Lagos. We are now trying to see whether we can go into the N2 billion range. Definitely, they should be encouraged.”
Meanwhile, she noted that the NIWA Lagos Area Office was becoming too small for its operations and assured that the facilities would be improved.
According to her, “there is need for change in the NIWA Lagos Office, and as the area manager told us about the IGR over the years, there is need for comfort for the workers. If an area brings in more funds, the onus lies on the agency to ensure that such area’s needs are taken care of.
“In our meeting with the workers, they told us many challenges that they will like us to help them fix. Even the office that we sat in is becoming too small for them.
“If we want to continue to get the best from these workers, we need to attend to their needs. They raised issues like more operational vehicles, patrol boats, provision of slip-way for vessel repair, and generator, among others.”
On his part, NIWA Managing Director, Dr. George Moghalu, assured that the agency would grow stronger now that it is autonomous of IPPIS, stating: “Our leaving the IPPIS is a basis to work harder and make more money.
“This is because we are now going to pay ourselves. If we want to starve, then we will starve. If we want to get our salaries, then we’ll work harder to get our salaries.
“I think we have taken a strong position and before we took the position, we have agreed among ourselves, management and staff that this is the time to move forward.”
Moghalu explained: “We in NIWA believe very strongly that the marine has many potentials that we need to key into to be able to expand those aspects of our economy. We are doing everything we can to be able to achieve that.
“We realised that the resources available to do that will not be sufficient. (Therefore), we have opened contacts with agencies and companies that are interested in working with us.”
Meanwhile, the Lagos Area Manager, Mrs. Sarat Braimah, said the area office was due for a remodeling, especially as it is located in the centre of business in Lagos. More so, “our generator is over 20 years old and due for a change. We also need more security (personnel) to man our jetties.
“We also need more operational vehicles because, naturally, people don’t want to pay tax. You have to chase them around to ensure they pay. So, we need more operational vehicles to do this.
“We also need a slipway. We currently don’t have any in Lagos, and that’s why most of our marine boats are not getting adequate repairs. The slipway we are currently using is owned by a client.
“We also need to establish our presence in Ikorodu, Epe, Badagry and Agbara. We currently don’t have jetties in these places but only in Marina, Tin-Can, Apapa and Maroko. We need more jetties for the areas where we currently lack presence.”
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