Oyinbo jetty: Remi Tinubu blasts NIWA MD over abandonment

The Senate Committee on Marine Transport on Tuesday met the National Inland Waterways Authority (NIWA) and Maritime Academy of Nigeria (MAN) over their performances in the 2020 budget and the 2021 proposed budget.

The Managing Director of NIWA, Dr. George Moghalu, in his address said that the Authority’s total appropriation for the year 2020 was N6,349,834,548, made up of recurrent estimates of N877,941,048 while capital estimates stands at N5,471,893,500. “This implies that the recurrent budget constitutes 13.8 percent and capital estimates 86 2 percent of the total 2020 budget appropriation for implementation.

“However, a recent review of the utilization revealed that about N591,121,713.73 representing 67.3 percent of the total recurrent budget was utilized while N844,891,399.63 which constitutes about 15.4 percent of the total capital budget was utilized as at October, 2020.

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“Though the financial performance stands at 76.3 percent of the total Capital budget, actual project implementation performance for the period was very poor owing to delay in capital releases occasioned by the COVID-19 pandemic that posed a very great global economic threat, the Authority’s drive to actualize its objectives which remain the primary focus with the fiscal year yet to elapse,” he said.

Moghalu, however, said that a total of N6,625,057,455 was proposed for 2021 for favorable considerations stating that it hopes to complete all on-going projects and enhance revenue generation. The MD was not spared as some senators expressed their grievances on the poor state of maritime services in the South-East.

Senator representing Akwa Ibom South Senatorial District, Akon Eyakenyi complained bitterly that years back the state had functional jetties that were managed by the organization (NIWA) but presently is in shambles. Also speaking, Senator Theodore Orji (PDP, Abia Central), charged Moghalu not to forget Onitsha while he gives preference to Lagos and other states. The MD also came under fire by Senator Remi Tinubu (APC, Lagos Central), blamed him for leaving the Lagos Oyinbo jetty unattended to.

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