Khadijat Saidu, Birnin Kebbi
The National Inland Water Ways (NIWA)has laid a foundation for a modern passenger lounge and commissions 2 number of 32-seater ferry boats in Yauri Local Government Area of Kebbi State.
Speaking during the foundation laying ceremony on Thursday, the Managing Director NIWA, Dr George Moghalu said: “The Government of President Muhammadu Buhari is determined to make an impact on the people and that is essentially what we are doing today Because we appreciate the potentials that make our inland waterways all year round applicable open them up for our people to use.
“The economic potentials are quite enormous and we can tap into it to support and encourage the maritime ecosystem.”
According to the MD: “I remember I promised to His Royal Highness that I will come back to Yauri so that promise I have fulfilled it today, I assured him that I will justify the confidence reposed in me I assured him also whatever I will do to make sure that the Yauri Emirate route that leads us even outside this country will be made commercially viable.
He, therefore, commends the senator representing Kebbi south, Sen. Bala Ibn Na Allah for his efforts and commitment to his people and his desire to see that the route between Yauri to outside the country Burkinafaso, Mali and even leading to the hinterland in our country is made viable So I commend you for your efforts and I appreciate what you do for your people and your determination to do more.
In his remarks at the occasion, Sen Bala Ibn Na Allah APC Senator representing Kebbi South said the importance of the modern passenger lounge, as well as the newly launched ferry boats, was enormous.
He said it would open Yauri to international markets through the use of inland water and it would also help to ensure quick response in terms of an emergency rather than relying on a canoe ” with these boats you can address emergency issues regarding health.
“We also have a boat ambulance there that can go across the river and convey sick people within the shortage possible time. This is how to open the inland waterways to ensure that people living by the river benefit from the intervention of the government.
“The modern passenger Lounge will be a processing zone for those who want to engage in international travel within the comfort, so that Immigration, Customs can do their jobs they can bort and then depart for Burkinafaso or Mali.
According to him, it is a durable project and if the Federal Government decides to give them 10 percent of what it is giving to the Railway the place will be opened to many businesses.
Na Allah added that with such support the normal business that used to happen during trans Sahara trade would be boosted and relationships with other ECOWAS countries would be further enhanced.
In a related development, the Emir of Yauri Alhaji Muhammad Zayyanu-Abdullahi has lauded the efforts of President Muhammadu Buhari’s administration for extending infrastructure development to his emirate.
He made the commendation while receiving the Managing Director, National Inland Water Ways (NIWA) on a courtesy visit in his palace in Yauri, Yauri Local Government Area of Kebbi State.
He identified some of the projects executed by President Buhari’s administration to include road construction from Koko to Yauri and connecting Yauri alongside nine other local government areas with the national grid, 33 KV line.
Others according to him, are the establishment of HYPADEC and appointment of an indigene of Yauri emirate as pioneer boss, the establishment of Ngaski Tomatoes Factory, and the Federal College of Technical Education, Yauri.
“I don’t think if there is any place in Kebbi State where the Federal Government showed its presence more than Yauri; therefore, on behalf of myself, our Senator, the Emirate, and the entire people of Yauri, I want to extend our profound gratitude to God Almighty and then to the Federal Government under the leadership of President Muhammadu Bihari.
“We had experienced a series of banditry, but today, we thank God, a troop of Nigerian Army is now stationed here and our people can now go to the farm and cultivate their crops peacefully,” he said.
Earlier, the Managing Director, NIWA, Dr. George Moghalu, told the emir that they were in his palace to seek royal blessings, support, and cooperation towards the success of the agency.
He said the visit to Yauri was the second to the emirate and hoped that the relationship between the agency and the emirate would be sustained.
While appreciating the reception of the Emir the MD said his visit was in fulfillment of the promise that he was coming back to Yauri for an important activity – the foundation laying of a boat station in Yauri Emirate.
In his remarks, the President, Yauri Development Association (YDA) Alhaji Abubakar Umar, said one of the objectives of setting up NIWA was to develop infrastructural facilities and ensure an effective transport system in line with global best practices.
He described Kebbi State as a gateway of River Niger into Nigeria, saying it covered the point of entry.
Umar, therefore, appeals to the federal government to employ indigenes of Yauri into NIWA.