Disturbed by frequent boat accidents claiming lives on the Lagos Waterways, the Lagos area office of National Inland Waterways Authority (NIWA), has threatened to deregister and withdraw the operational license of any indicted operator.
The agency also threatened to prosecute and ensure the withdrawal of certificate of any boat captain including other stringent measures to force sanity in the operation of water transportation services in the state.
The Lagos area manager, Engineer Sarat Lara Braimah, disclosed that the federal government could no longer fold its hands and watch some
deviant operators and their employees run the business aground, noting that NIWA will ensure zero tolerance on boat accidents.
“We have tried to provide the needed enabling environment for the operators, including training programmes to expose stakeholders to
operational standards yet some have chosen the part of desperation and dangerous behaviour, leading to loss of lives and property,” she said.
Braimah further stated that the authority’s patience with the unrepentant operators had been overstretched, and hinted of a new agenda of enforcement devoid of plea and forgiveness.
She further disclosed that pre boarding formalities targeted at passenger’s awareness would now form part of the enforcement regime to help stabilise and encourage first timers and those afraid of water
“Time has also come for passengers to take responsibility, listen and obey boat crew when emergencies or turbulence occurs. Sadly, some
passengers go into a frenzy and panic mood, triggering fearful alarm and causing bedlam leading to avoidable deaths.” She stated.
According to her, the new normal on water transportation will see detailed take off
protocols, pre boarding checks and physical inspection of use of life jackets and safety talks to adequately prepare the minds of passengers
in case of emergency situations.