INTERVIEW: We can’t be regulators and operators at same time – Sarat Braimah, NIWA Lagos Area Manager

INTERVIEW: We can't be regulators and operators at same time - Sarat Braimah, NIWA Lagos Area Manager


The Lagos Area Manager of the National Inland Waterways Authority (NIWA), Engr. Sarat Braimah in an exclusive interview with Monarchs News, speaks on preparedness of the agency during the yuletide.

She gave insight into how the agency is working relentlessly to regulate boat operators’ activities on the waterways, ensuring safety.

Happy Diamond Age

She told our correspondent that some of the jetties that are not firm have been inspected by team of engineers of the agency saying work would soon commence on building new jetties.

It was an exciting session with the AM, enjoy the piece.


What are the efforts NIWA is making to keep the waterways safe as the year is ending knowing that more passengers would like to use the waterways?


As we all know that the year is running to an end, and a lot of people will be travelling from one place to the other and will be using the waterways which is one of the modes of transportation, definitely, the National Inland Waterways Authority through the Managing Director has a lot of plans that we don’t have mishap on the waterways. We are planning a lot of things, we have started some like removal of wrecks which is the major cause of boat mishaps as well as water hyacinth clearing.

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We have started removing wrecks, we started from Ijora, we are going down to Ikorodu

We have started removing water hyacinth too but it has not come out in Ikorodu, so we are in Badore cleaning. We are going to do more as they come out.

For the safety of lives of people on the waterways, our task force is everywhere checking life jackets and seizing the ones that are not good enough and burning the ones that are not fit to be on the waterways.


When did you commence the wreck removal and when is the project end?


It is a three month project. We started about six weeks ago.

The Minister recently pronounced that the ministry would no longer fund removal of water hyacinth on the waterways. What does the authority intend to do about this?

That will be determined by the headquarters but for now, they are still giving us finances. If they stop funding it, may be NIWA will be using its IGR, I don’t know.


Some passengers are expressing fears about some jetties that are not firm. What is NIWA doing about these jetties causing fears to passengers?


A while ago, I had a team of engineers from the headquarters that are here to come and make another jetty here just behind my office here that are already giving out. As they progress, I will invite you to come and see it.

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Tell us some of the things you have done from January till date.


We have done two jetties, wreck removal, we have procured patrol boats, ambulance, water hyacinth clearing.


When are we expecting NIWA to come up with its own passenger boats?


We do not want to go into commercializing NIWA for now. We cannot be regulating and at the same time, doing the job. That is why we allow individuals, private organisations to come into ferry business.



There is a new boat owners association, how does this affect your relationship with boat operators and owners?



It is going to have a positive effect in our relationship because we will be able to control them more.
Before, we used to have ATBOWATON, every problem was on them and now that we have WABOTAN, we can always call them that so and so things are happening in such area, call your members to order.


What are you doing about the dirty life jackets given out by boat operators?



They said they used to wash the jackets once in three months but we have mandated them to wash them every month for the ones that are dirty but the ones that are dirty, are the ones we are seizing.

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What are your major challenges on this seat?

The challenge is funding.

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