…Says NIWA must not be cocooned, but run as empowered, functional Zones***
Nigeria’s foremost shipping mogul, Engr. Greg Utonwen Ogbeifun may not be too happy with the way successive leaderships have run the Nigerian Inland Waterways Authority (NIWA), highlighting that for now, the inland Authority has defied every effort to make its viably move to the next level.
Engr. Ogbeifun made the observation in Lagos, positing that until NIWA is made to come out of the cocoon, identify with stakeholders interest, and synergize with the nation’s overall vision, its pace may remain stunted.
“From my observation, NIWA has defied every effort to make it viable. I’m not afraid to talk at my age now, but that’s the truth. My good friend, Boss Mustapha, remember, he was the acting Managing Director (MD) when he was appointed (Secretary to the Federal Government), he was very passionate; Mustapha would have changed NIWA, but for some reasons, the Chief Executives of NIWA are in their own cocoon; they don’t identify with anybody, it was Mustapha that was beginning to bring NIWA out; you remember you had a session at Oriental; he was beginning to bring NIWA out and people started to turn to NIWA. He was the first…”, he stated, noting that Nigeria stands to gain so much, if NIWA is made truly functional.
Asked to suggest how the Inland Waterways Authority could be made more vibrant, the CEO of the STARZs Group said it should be cut into functional zones, then empowered to pragmatically meet the needs of each zone, while the Headquarters work at harmonizing the functional units towards meeting the national aspirations.
“I will look at the areas of our inland waters and I will cut them into zones and I will establish autonomous structures in each of the zones to address the extent of waterways in their zones. The set up structures, autonomously strong, will be reporting to an entity representing the CEO, Minister or whatever.
“And then any budget coming to NIWA is given to them, those structures established in the zones must be mapped by people in that zone, I would have preferred to put Moghalu on NIWA’s structure around Onitsha axis and give him the autonomous power to generate revenue; when we do that, that’s the only way our inland waterways would work.
“It doesn’t matter what Moghalu is doing in Lokoja to Onitsha or Baro, it won’t work; that’s my view!” he explained further, stressing the need not to cocoon NIWA’s operation or administrative vision.