Worried by the incessant boat accidents on lagos Waterways, lagos area office of National Inland Waterways Authority (NIWA), has warned that it would henceforth deregister and withdraw operational license of any indicted operator.
NIWA in a press statement issued at the weekend also vowed to prosecute and ensure the withdrawal of certificate of any boat captain including other stringent measures to force back sanity in the operation of water transportation services in Lagos state.
Engineer Sarat Lara Braimah, the NIWA Lagos Area Manager said the federal government regulatory agency can no longer fold its hands and watch some deviant operators and their employees run the business aground, noting that NIWA would go for the shovel in ensuring zero tolerance on boat accidents.
” We have tried to provide 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 behavior, leading to loss of lives and property” explained the Lagos Area Manager.
Engineer Sarat Braimah further stated that the authority’s patience with the unrepentant operators has been overstretched, and hinted of a new agenda of enforcement devoid of plea and forgiveness.
She also disclosed that pre-boarding formalities targeted at passengers awareness will now form part of the enforcement regime to help stabilize and encourage first timers and those afraid of water transportation to adhere to safety measures, particularly during turbulence on the waterways.
” Time has also come for passengers to take responsibility, listen and obey boat crew when emergencies or turbulence occurs. Sadly, some passengers go into frenzy and panic mood, and triggering off fearful alarm and causing bedlam leading to avoidable deaths.” She stated.
She added that the new normal on water transportation will see to 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.
She also informed that unscheduled and random checks of boats to acertain their seaworthiness will incorporate the enforcement strategy.
“The new dawn will be implemented to the letter with passengers addressed in English, Pigin English, and the three major dialects, Igbo, Yoruba and Hausa before take off, all targeted to ensuring that passengers take responsibility and corperate with boat crew to ensure a successful and incident free voyage
” We are going to step up our awareness program for stakeholders in this month of August and beyond. We determined to arrest this situation, and hereby enjoin all hands to be on the deck.” Engineer Sarat stated.