Our waterways transportation must contribute to national tourism growth – says FTAN President

Spread the news

Our waterways transportation must contribute to national tourism growth – says FTAN President

The President, Federation of Tourism Associations of Nigeria, ( FTAN)), Mr Nkereweum Onung, has called on the federal government to assist tourist boat operators in Nigeria to effectively respond to the demand of waterways transportation ecosystem in the country.

According to FTAN leader, who came to Lagos, to condole Dr Gani Tarzan Balogun, President, Association of Tourist Boat Operators and Water Transporters of Nigeria ( ATBOWATON), over lives lost in Kwara State Boat accident, disclosed that the time has come for the federal and state governments to consider boat transportation as a serious economy deserving funding and investment opportunities.

“We at FTAN, most sincerely pray that such avoidable accident should not happen again anywhere in the country and wish to reiterate that the entire water transportation economy be captured in the national development agenda.

“As key members of our federation, we stand in a gap in prayers with ATBOWATON and all boat operators in the country at this dark period, including the families of the victims of the accident and kwara state government” he explained.

Mr Nkereweum Onung assured the leadership of ATBOWATON that FTAN would join the on-going efforts by National Inland Waterways Authority to unravel the cause of the incident and also suggest practical operational ways to forestall such sad occurrences in the future.

” Dear president of Atbowaton, please be rest assured that we shall join your team to kwara whenever you are ready and also take the campaign to abreast government on the need to assist boat operators to sustainably and effectively contribute to national socioeconomic development, through maritime tourism ecosystem, which is yet to be fully harnessed.

” The kwara Waterways accident should be thoroughly evaluated beyond the rash of sympathetic interests and emotional retorts but should serve as a wake-up call for serious intervention, to resolve the pains and challenges of boating economy critical to harnessing the brown water maritime tourism industry.

“Our people, particularly those around our vast littoral communities, must have access to enabling environment to travel safely, expliot the goldmine of maritime tourism and contribute to the economic growth of the country. ” Mr Onung stated”.

Responding, Dr Gani Tarzan Balogun appreciated the timely visit of FTAN President, noting that the burden of survival by boat transport operators is huge and needs serious attention by the government.

” When accidents happen on water, there’s always the rush to blame boat operators and to many people, the issues of lack of training are usually bandied about but in truth, certain operational and cultural pressures on operators contributes sometimes to avoidable accidents.

“From accessing spare parts, the cost of fueling boats, insurance, and absence of operational opportunities like fueling depots on waterways, cultural attitudes of our people to safe boating ecology, even taxes and levies by the authorities, can influence certain challenges” ATBOWATON President lamented.

He added that he would mobilise members of the maritime community and stakeholders to tackle the problems of water transportation in Nigeria.

error: Content is protected !!