The Barge Operators Association of Nigeria (BOAN) held a joint press conference with the Maritime Worker’s Union of Nigeria (MWUN) yesterday at the office of MWUN in Lagos Nigeria. The press conference witnessed the inauguration of the barge operations management committee comprising of members of both organization. The Chairman of the steering committee, Ahmed Mohammed stated that BOAN have highlighted 5 channels that govern within the waterways transportation in Lagos and it was important to select individuals that will manage the channels. This joint press conference is historical as it presented the official flag off an harmonious relationship between BOAN and MWUN said the Chairman.
The President-General, MWUN, Prince Adewale, Adeyanju stated that the synergy between both organizations have come to stay and it was important for both organizations to synergize so as to become formidable in reaching its goals and interfacing with the Government and regulatory bodies. The PG stated that the partnership will transcend beyond Lagos as he had engaged with stakeholders in other quarters of the Federation. MWUN will continue to support BOAN to the best of its capacity to ensure that the goals and objectives are achieved.
President, BOAN, Edeme Kelikume mentioned that the partnership with MWUN was necessary to ensure discipline and better manage the barge activities on the waterways.
In an exclusive interview with the BOAN President and his team, the Chairman Steering Committee, mentioned that the aim of the synergy with MWUN was to harmonize the relationship as it relates to waterways transportation with an overall objective to decongest the seaports. BOAN is focusing on three elements and these three elements encapsulate the operational activities of Barge operations; Manpower: the captains and the crew members, the infrastructure and water way channels and the equipment’s required. We have been working tirelessly to put in place all that it takes to achieve maximum operational activities within our waters; we are training our men while we secured the partnership of insurance companies to mitigate risks while we ensure safety and boost confidence.
The President, Mr. Edeme Kelikume reiterated the need for cooperation between operators and regulatory authorities; we are working with National Inland Waterways Authority (NIWA), Nigerian Maritime Administration and Safety Agency (NIMASA), Nigerian Navy, Nigeria Police and Lagos State Waterways Authority (LASWA). We have structured our operations to have channels and each of this channel have teams and the teams have enforcement teams. With this collaboration between MWUN, BOAN and the regulatory agencies there will be a better coordination of the movement of our crafts and other third parties that will be plying the waterways. We see an improvement and hence the BOAN Conference for 24th August, 2021 where we will be imploring the Government to play their part. The issue of wreck removal needs to be taken seriously, we expect NIWA, NIMASA and the Nigerian Ports Authority (NPA) to get more involved in clearing the water of the wrecks we have in them. We need to have the right navigational aids. Security is very key; with the Navy and Marine Police we can have a secured waterway.
On the 1st Annual Conference, Hajia Bola Muse, Chairperson, Committee, BOAN 1st Annual Conference, mentioned that the event will host the Honorable Minister of Transportation, Mr. Rotimi Amaechi, the Executive Governor of Lagos State, Mr. Babajide Sanwo-Olu, the Acting Managing Director of the Nigerian Ports Authority (NPA), Idris Abubakar, Executives from NIMASA, and other key players in the Maritime Industry. The conference will hold on 24th August at the Lagos Marriott Hotel, Ikeja. Time is 10AM she said.
The Public Relations Officer, Mr. Ernest Udeze, mentioned that BOAN was working on a mobile software to ease engagement and communication on the waterways; with this software, barges can be tracked as they leave the jetties real time, we will have an opportunity to build a strong data base for the industry thus improving insight and enhancing swift decision making and projections.