The National Inland Waterways Authority (NIWA), yesterday commissioned three patrol boats to end boat mishaps on Lagos waterways.
NIWA also inaugurated a task force to patrol the Lagos Inland waterways and enforced the authority’s code against night voyage, overloading and non -usage of life jackets by passengers.
Speaking at the third quarterly stakeholders meeting and commissioning of the patrol boats in Lagos, the managing director, NIWA, Dr George Moghalu, blamed overloading, night voyage, and refusal to wear life jackets by passengers as factors responsible for boat mishaps on the nation’s waterways including Lagos.
The MD, however, ordered the task force team to clampdown on passenger boats flouting the authority’s directive on safety on the waterways.
He said, “We have procured 20 patrol boats for our area offices and three have been deployed to Lagos to lay much emphasis on safety and security. Also, we have procured three ambulances and are about to get additional seven and we will bring one of the ambulances to Lagos to join the existing ones.
“I get worried when accident occur on our waterways and we have placed embargo on vessels plying the waterways after 6pm in the evening and before 6am in the morning and this us because most accidents on the waterways occurred after and before this time and this is due to absence of navigational aids that will help them to navigate successfully at night.”
Moghalu who also bemoaned overloading of passenger boats urged the taskforce team to impound any one putting passengers at risk.