Incessant mishaps :
NIWA sensitises boat operators, jetty owners on safety rules
* Defaulters must face 7 years jail sentence – Eng Sarat warns
* Presents standard life Jackets to riverine communities
Following Incessant boat mishaps claiming innocent lives, the National Inland Waterways Authority (NIWA), has sensitised boat operators and jetty owners in various communities within the riverine areas across Lagos state, on safety rules for water transportation.
NIWA’s team led by Lagos Area Manager, Eng. Sarat Braimah, carried out a thorough exercise, as they moved from one riverine community to another enlightening jetty owners, boat operators, community leaders, as well as passengers on practical safety measures on waterways.
The team also informed boat operators on its readiness to
enforce the Waterways Safety Code gazetted by the Federal Ministry of Justice.
Speaking during the sensitisation exercise, Eng Braimah advised operators to adhere strictly to the safety code, warning that any defaulter must face 7 years jail sentence, in accordance with the law.
Eng Sarat, who was talking tough on strict compliance with the safety code, stated emphatically that aside jetty owners and boat operators,
even passengers, who violate the safety rules must be brought to book, to serve as deterrent to others.
Madam Sarat warned boat operators against night sailing beyond 7pm; boat drivers license violation; driving boats without paddles; driving unregistered boats; dangerous driving; over-speeding; driving rickety and leaking boats.
Others include driving unnamed boats; driving without standard life jackets; passengers manifest violation; fire extinguisher violation driving boats under influence of alcohol-drugs; fighting at jetty; obstructing task force on duty; overloading violation; and assault of taskforce on duty.
More so, Eng Sarat and her team presented free standard life jackets to boat operators and community leaders at the riverine areas they visited, which include
Irede; Ibeshe, Sagbo-Koji ; Bishop-Koji, Whalakoji and other places.
Sarat frowned at the recent boat mishap that claimed over 17 lives, describing it as heart breaking and a disaster, which could have been averted if the boat operators had paddles on board to control the movement of the boat while in distress.
Her words :
“The last accident was heart breaking. 17 people lost their lives in one day. If the affected boat had a paddle, the accident would have been prevented, because they would have paddled themselves to safety.
“Therefore, we are on a mission to sensitise the riverine communities and to get rid of fake life jackets on our waterways. Our officials will be at the jetties to seize substandard life jackets and destroy them. The Federal Government is concerned about safety of the citizens, so, violators must be prosecuted accordingly”.
The Area Manager stressed that the sensitisation exercise came in the nick of time to warn the operators before arrest and prosecution are enforced, so that everyone could be aware.
From right, Oba Alani Razak, the Ovori of Ibeshe receiving donation of standard life jackets from Eng Sarat during the sensitisation exercise: