The Lagos Area Manager of National Inland Waterways Authority (NIWA), Mrs. Sarat Braimah, has charged boat operators and other waterfront transporters to embrace technology in all their operations on the waterways to boost the Gross Domestic Product (GDP) of the economy.
The NIWA boss, who stated this during a courtesy visit of the newly formed Waterfront Boat Owners and Transporters Association Of Nigeria (WABOTAN) to her office in Lagos, said technology is the way to go in global markets and Nigeria’s water transportation economy cannot lag behind.
She said the desire of the industry is to benchmark new growth processes and projects, which will innovate and drive templates to speedy advancement of the brown water economy, target new jobs and contribute to the national GDP.
Braimah said NIWA will encourage associations and groups, who are willing to partner with the government to move the industry forward, while urging WABOTAN to stay focused on its vision and aspirations to avoid failure to its birth goals.
She also pleaded with the leadership of WABOTAN and its members to do things differently as well as showcase its membership profile and location of its business operations to help NIWA capture and deploy technical support to put the group’s operations in perspective.
“We must identify your members and effectively engage them to know what they will do, so that we can be well guided to ensure the safety of waterways users and also monitor your day to day activities,” she said.
In his response, the President of WABOTAN, stated that the association, with presence in all littoral communities and states across the country, is out to address certain challenges in the water transport industry.
“We are clearly set to bring new ideas and assist the government to put in measures to empower and create more jobs. We will also use technology to operationalise water transportation business, train and retrain our members and effectively engage government towards improving the quality of service on our waterways,” he said.
Fajimirokun added that the association will deploy research findings to complement the process of developing policy and growth issues by the government, to help escalate private sector investment in the brown water economy.