Managing Director, National Inland Waterways Authority (NIWA), Dr. George Moghalu has said that plans have been concluded for the establishment of Maritime Institute in Onitsha, Anambra State.
Moghalu disclosed this during inspection of areas covered by the organization’s right of way in Onitsha with an order for demolition of illegal structures within the area to make way for the Maritime Institute project.
He said the project needed to be sited in the NIWA right of way, adding that the Institute had to do with public interest project.
He said, “There are people there without our consent. We are saying that a formal application has to be made, the design of what to be done there has to be provided. This will enable NIWA to survey and mark out the area in question.
“Those who have the impression that the NIWA’s right of way has been sold is completely wrong. That’s unfounded. If we have sold it out, can we ask for the illegal structures to be demolished?
“We would not have moral justification to do that. It doesn’t make sense. Those developments on NIWA’s right of way were made without our approval.
“You don’t just go to NIWA right of way and build something. You must apply and we will look at what your are going to do there whether it has relevance to the Maritime subsector.
“The applicant will say it is for a particular development. That will be in specific terms and well examined before any approval is given. You don’t just jump into Federal Governement’s property and start building your project just like that.
“Our action is not sudden. They have been warned.Those gates and fences you see there are not up to three months old, erected without any approval and we warned the shop owners repeatedly before the decision to demolish the illegal structures.
“You must get approval subject to what the Act says. There are specific things you can’t come and build on NIWA’s right of way.”
The NIWA’s boss and his team comprising the area managers and other senior management staff as well as security details also visited a motor park which he said was on NIWA’s right of way.
“That motor park is on our right of way. There’s a contention in that park involving three parties and NIWA on the same property. You heard me say I cannot do anything without a proper survey.
“Let’s in a very clear terms know the areas that are in contention to be able to resolve it. I believe that dialogue is the best approach to problem solving,” he added.
Acknowledging that the contention had been there before his appointment as the NIWA M/D, Moghalu promised to use the records available to him to solve whatever challenge that could be at the motor park.
“My concern there is to achieve peace, do what the law says and ensure that the revenue of NIWA is not tampered with, ” he added.
Moghalu also disclosed that NIWA was at the verge to reclaim the party house in Onitsha as its property where he said the Onitsha area office would be relocated to leave the port which had already been concessed.
He said that plans had reached an advanced stage to reclaim the party house, adding that the Hon Minister had already informed the Inspector General of Police for the relocation to take place soon.