The National Inland Waterways Authority (NIWA) has proposed N6.6 billion as the capital expenditure component of its N7.3 billion 2021 budget estimates to upscale development of inland water transportation in the country.
The Managing Director of NIWA, Dr George Moghalu, made this known in Abuja on Tuesday when he appeared before the Senate Committee on Marine Transportation for the defence of 2021 budgetary estimates of the agency.
Moghalu, however, appealed to the Senate to pass the necessary legislation that would help the agency to develop and improve inland waterway transportation in the country.
He said: “In line with the economic recovery and growth plan of President Muhammadu Buhari, the Authority reiterates its determination, now more than ever, to upscale the development of inland water transportation in Nigeria.
“I, therefore, seize this opportunity to appeal to the Senate to use your good offices to ensure and facilitate an enabling financial and legal environment that would provide the boost that NIWA needs to achieve its full potential.”
He said that the N6.6 billion capital expenditure component of the agency’s 2021 budget was essential to ensure the completion of all ongoing projects.
He also said that the proposed budget would also boost the revenue generation capacity of the agency.
Moghalu told the Senate committee that NIWA could not fully implement its project in 2020 because of the delay in capital releases, largely occasioned by the COVID-19 pandemic.
He, however, said that N737 million of the budget proposal was for the personnel costs of the agency in 2021.
The Chairman of the Committee, Sen. Danjuma Goje (APC Gombe), said that the proposed N7.3 billion budget of NIWA in 2021 would help the agency to complete its projects which had lingered over the last five years.