By Godwin Obi
It was all frills and trills , when recently Leaders of thought and people of Ihiala Local Government Area of Anambra State gathered in their thousands to accord a grand reception to Chief Executive and Managing Director of the National Inland Waterways Authority ,NIWA, Chief Dr. George Moghalu.
In what looked like a double carnival, the NIWA CEO had earlier in the day, in company of king makers and veteran politicians in Ihiala and Nnewi respectively, proceeded to his mother’s kinsmen at Lilu where he was first hosted and bestowed with a traditional title of ‘Okenwa Ihiala LGA’ by Igwe Dr. Barr. Godson Onyediri, Igwe Ikenga of Lilu.
Dr. Moghala who left Lilu with his shoulders high, was finally received at Ihiala LG secretariat, the venue of the grand finale proper, with pomp and pageantry.
Addressing Leaders of thought and people of Ihiala, Dr. Moghalu thanked his mother’s kinsmen for honouring him in such grand style, and prayed that the year 2020 would be better for all. He however promised to do whatever he has the capacity of doing for the people.
Chief Engr. Fort Dike who accompanied the NIWA boss to the noble event wished him well in his new appointment and requested him to use his vast knowledge and experience to develop and transform water transportation in Nigeria. Chief Dike also implored Moghalu to locate a jetty at Ihiala for ease of movement of farmers across Ulasi River.
Ealier in his address, Hon. Theophilus Nnorom expressed his optimism that Moghalu will do well in NIWA, recalling that his predecessors went higher after leaving the Organisation. Hon. Nnorom prayed that Moghalu would in full future and in that order, serve Nigeria in higher capacities whether as Anambra state Governor or as President of Nigeria.
Other dignataries that graced the event included: Chief Emmanuel Ossy Igbonwelundu, Chief Val Ntomchukwu (DIG of Police Retd), Onowu A.O Mbanaso, Chief Mike Ejezie and Chief Sab Ozoigbo. The rest were Barr. Okwy Ejezie, Hon. Chinedu Ukachukwu, Onowu Frank Igwe, Chief Ignatius Ofornedu and a host of other well meaning leaders of thought in Ihiala LGA . The event was well attended with hilarious side attractions from MC Akonuche anchoring the auspicious occasion, women cultural dances, presentation of plaques and Coconuts by Ihiala leaders of thought and Moghalu’s mothers’ kinsmen respectively.
Recall that many have hailed the appointment of Moghalu for being the best man for the job. Chairman of Anambra State chapter of the Civil Liberties Organisation ,CLO,, Vincent Ezekwueme described his appointment as the best independence gift to the Southeast.
He noted thus: “Moghalu as a moralist, selfless, patriotic, humble, honest and servant leader should bear the interest and social wellbeing of the citizens at heart by rehabilitating the decrepit and deplorable Onitsha seaport to boost economic activities in the Southeast, as well as give them a sense of belonging,” Ezekwueme added.
Group of youths under Northern Youth Council of Nigeria ,NYCN, also commended President Muhammadu Buhari for appointing Moghalu as NIWA’s helmsman
According to Isah, “NYCN applaud President Muhammad Buhari for appointing a core nationalist, a detribalized Nigerian as the MD/CEO of National inland waterways Authority (NIWA) in person of chief George Moghalu.
“We believed that with his wealth of experience, he will rejuvenate the agency’s objective and mandate of improve and develop inland water ways navigation as well provide alternative mode of transportation for the evacuation of economic goods and persons
Since his appointment, the National Inland Waterways Authority, NIWA, has commenced moves to reduce the rate of boat accidents across the country with a view to making water transport a preferred mode of transportation in Nigeria.
Speaking to newsmen, on the sideline of the just concluded 2019 stakeholders appreciation night hosted by the Nigerian Shippers Council, NSC, Managing Director of NIWA, Dr. Moghalu, said the agency is saddled with educating the public on the safe use of water transports with a view to stemming the tide of accidents on the waterways.
Moghalu also disclosed that the agency has engaged a consultant that will provide standard life vests and jackets at all NIWA locations across the country adding that lack of knowledge has exposed a lot of people to various forms of accidents on the waterways.
He stated: “We have plans to reduce the rate of accidents on the waterways; We are talking with a group particularly on the issue of live vest because you find that lack of knowledge, exposure and education has made a lot of people to abandon best practices with regards to water transport.
“There are basic things that must be done to ensure that our waterways are safe and we are doing that now, we are talking with the various groups and bring to the knowledge of everybody best practices when it has to do with water transport