The National Inland Waterways Authority (NIWA) has initiated discussion with the Nigeria National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) on how to deliver crude oil to the refineries through the waterways.
The acting Managing Director of NIWA, Mr Danaladi Ibrahim, told newsmen in Lokoja on Sunday that formal discussion with the management of the NNPC on the proposal would begin this week.
Danaladi said that NIWA was encouraged to initiate the proposal by the recent decision to stop the delivery of crude oil by trucks to the refineries in Port Harcourt, Kaduna and Warri.
He said that the NIWA was in a good stead to deliver crude oil through barges to the refineries, describing the option as cheaper, safe and environment friendly.
Ibrahim said that NIWA also had the capacity to deliver refined products through inland waterways to all the states except Katsina and Kano.
He said that the organisation had procured enough tugboats to drive the barges which were of varying capacities from 300 tonnes to 800 tonnes.
He said that NIWA had also procured 17 gunboats to guarantee the security of the facilities and personnel involved in the operation.
Ibrahim expressed the hope that the proposal would enjoy the favorable consideration of the NNPC, saying that the organisation had taken steps to protect the banks of River Niger.
This is to prevent the dredged channel which was undertaken at a cost of N36 billion from being blocked.
The NIWA chief expressed delight that the country would start reaping the benefits of the dredging, saying that more companies had indicated their readiness to use to barges to move their products.
Ibrahim suggested the establishment of an inland waterways trust fund for the country to take maximum advantage of its inland waterways.
He said that the fund would make it compulsory for the stakeholders in the maritime sector to pay a certain percentage …Read More
Source:: PM Newspaper