The National Inland Waterways Authority (NIWA) has advised boat operators in Lagos to reduce their passengers by 2 or 3 persons in a bid to manage turbulence amid the rainy season.
Area Manager of NIWA Lagos Area Office, Engr. Sarat Braimah stated this during a chat with News Diet at the weekend in Lagos.
Noting that boat mishaps have been rampant in recent times across several parts of the country, Braimah observed that the rainy seasons always lead to turbulent waters and boat mishaps.
Her words: “We have prioritized safety by deploying taskforce to all jetties and introduced safety talks and sensitization so that operators and boat users are prepared for the wind and other unforseen occurrences. We haven’t seen any mishap in Lagos State recently as a result of our high-level enforcement activities as well as sensitization and enlightenment campaigns.”
“In Lagos, we have told operators to reduce the number of passengers boarding the boats by 2 or 3 persons and the reason is to cushion the effects of turbulence which common during the rainy seasons.”
When hinted that some boats disembark from Marina jetty by 9pm, Braimah warned that boats without navigational aids for night travel shouldn’t sail at night at all.
“If you find boats leaving for Badagry from Marina at night, they are probably the very few boats that have NIWA permit to sail at night. They can only get that permit when we ascertain that they have the required navigational aids for night travel,” she said.
Braimah, however, advised boat passengers to always wear their life-jackets and caution boat drivers to move at moderate speed when on boat rides.
According to her, one of the biggest challenges in the Northern part of the country with regards to boat operations in rural areas is that the operators don’t know how to use the life-jackets and maintain the ideal weight and balance on the boats.
“Most times the boats are overloaded and the operators don’t prioritize the use of life-jackets. The incident in Kwara State was because the boat, which was a wooden one, was overloaded and it was moving in the night,” Braimah added.