National Inland Waterways Authority (NIWA) has lamented lack of enough experienced hands in marine engineering to fix the numerous boats plying the Nigerian inland waterways.
Managing Director of NIWA, Dr. George Moghalu, who spoke at a ceremony in Lagos, said there was dearth of engineers in the agency, adding that any experienced professional that applies for a job would automatically be employed.
Moghalu, who was represented by the NIWA’s Officer 1 Marine, K. G. Abbah, said during the agency’s sensitisation of boat drivers, that there was lack of engineers, who could teach the drivers how to fix their engines whenever they develop faults on the waterways.
Abbah, who spoke on The Development of Inland Waterways Transportation as Tool for Job Creation for Nigerian Youths Through Maritime Sector, said: “We have numerous boats here in Lagos, especially when you are at Mariner Lagos and going to Port Novo, which is a nearby country, we have boat transportation that takes people there. There are so many, they have outboard engines and inboard engines.
“For those who are into marine engineering, we are having challenges whereby we have a few technicians, who can fix the problems. So, the opportunities are there and there are jobs already for those going into marine engineering.
“If you apply to NIWA today, I am sure you will be absolved, because, apart from the sensitisation programme, we have few engineers in NIWA, whereby we have several challenges of trying to fix the engines or trying to advise the owners on what to do.”
He also revealed that NIWA was currently employing a private company that would specialise in the removal of water hyacinth from the inland waterways, adding that the agency had acquired a ship with a debris interceptor to facilitate the job.
“It is NIWA’s function to remove pollution from our inland waterways including water hyacinth, which obstructs the waterways. This also affects the movement of boats and vessels,” he said.
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