The National Inland Waterways Authority, NIWA, has proposed N6.6 billion as capital components of its N7.3 billion 2021 budget estimates to develop inland water transportation in the country.
The Managing Director of NIWA, Dr George Moghalu, revealed this when he appeared before the Senate Committee on Marine Transportation for defence of 2021 budgetary estimates of the agency.
Moghalu also appealed to the Senate to enact necessary legislation to help the agency develop and increase inland waterways in the country.
He said, “In line with the economic recovery and growth plan of President Muhammadu Buhari, and the authority reiterated its determination, now more than ever, to upscale the development of Inland Water Transportation in the country.
“I, therefore, seize this opportunity to appeal to the Senate to use your good offices to ensure and facilitate a conducive financial and legal environment that would provide the boost needed for NIWA to achieve its full potential.”
He said the N6.6 billion capital component of the agency’s 2021 budget was essential to the completion of all ongoing projects.
He also said the budget would also enhance revenue generation for the agency.
Moghalu told the Senate committee that the agency could not achieve actual project implementation in 2020 because of the delay in capital releases occasioned by the COVID-19 pandemic.
He said that N737 million of the budget proposal was for personel estimates of the ministry for the fiscal year 2021.
The Chairman of the Committee, Sen.Danjuma Goje (APC Gombe), said the proposed N7.3 billion by NIWA in 2021 budget was designed to help the agency complete projects that had lingered in the last five years.