Jonathan fec

Teddy Oscar, Abuja

Members of the newly constituted board of National Inland Waterways Authority (NIWA) and governing council of Nigerian Institute of Transport Technology (NITT) have been urged to support the implementation of government policies and programmes.

Speaking during the inauguration ceremony of the 29 members of the two agencies at the Enugu Meeting Room of the Transcorp Hilton in Abuja, the minister of transport, Senator Idris Abdullahi Umar, observed that the transport sector remains a key component of the national economy whose enormous potentials need to be further harnessed to meet the expectations of the citizenry.

?Government, therefore, is bestowing enormous responsibilities on the chairmen and members of the board and governing council of the two agencies being inaugurated today. As members of the board of directors and governing council, you owe it a duty to effectively support the ministry in implementing government policies and programmes in line with the mandate of the agencies,? Umar said.

The minister also hinted that the Baro River Port in Niger State would be ready for commissioning by the first quarter of 2014, adding that the procurement processes have reached advanced stage for the concessioning of the port to private operators.

?The construction of river ports at Oguta, Baro and Jamata are ongoing and at various stages of completion. Indeed, the Baro River Port is expected to be completed and commissioned by the first quarter of 2014,? he added.

Speaking on behalf of the two agencies, Alhaji Bashir Dalhatu, chairman, board of NIWA, assured President Goodluck Jonathan that the agencies would deliver.

?This job that I am commencing is very difficult for me, but I feel encouraged because I will have so many people looking over my shoulders. On behalf of myself and Prince Olusola Akanmode (chairman, NITT governing council), I have to ask the minister of transport to communicate our acceptance to Mr. President of this important job that is meant to assist the nation and the President in the execution of such very, very onerous assignment.

?We are aware of the duty. We know the problems. We hope that we will able to justify the confidence that has been reposed upon us. We assure him (President) that we will, to the best of our ability, discharge this duty for the benefit of our nation and our people,? he assured.

While there are 11 members of NIWA, the NITT members are 18 in number.

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