…Inaugurates Lagos Chapter Executives, Targets Kogi, Bayelsa States
By DAPO OLAWUNI
The Waterfront Boat Owners and Transporters Association (WABOTAN) has created a Multipurpose Corporative Society for it’s members in order to ameliorate their financial challenges in boat operations.
This is even as the association on Tuesday in Apapa Lagos inaugurated it’s Lagos State executives to run all affairs of WABOTAN as it concerns the state.
Speaking with journalists at the inauguration ceremony, National President of WABOTAN, Mr Tope Fajemirokun stated that the Multipurpose Corporative Society has been officially inaugurated by the Lagos State Government two months ago.
According to him, the least share a member can buy to join the Multipurpose Corporative Society is N25,000.
Speaking, Mr Fajemirokun said “In an association, you cannot just be collecting money from your members, on the state level, they would ask you one question, what is your capacity?
The corporative society is coming up for us to generate more money and for our members to make more money.
“If you want to buy a Yamaha engine for your boat now, it is very expensive, but with this Corporate Society, you can run to the association to borrow money, use it for that purpose and pay back later, these are some of our plans.
“The Lagos State Corporative Society has inaugurated us two months ago. Our corporative executives are undergoing training, by Friday, they should be rounding up. This is to help out members, the least share a member can buy is N25,000”
According to the association, the capital share is also expandable if the N10million is exhausted.
Meanwhile, WABOTAN has inaugurated it’s Lagos State Chapter Executives which includes; Comrade Doubrah Jacob as State Chairman, Abraham Mesu as Vice Chairman, State Secretary is Ganiyu Jinadu.
Others are; Aiyeyemi Omosuyi as State Assistant Secretary, Oluwaseyi Samuel as State Treasurer, William Emasoga as State Financial Secretary, the State Public Relations Officer is Ramon Babatunde, while the Provost is Daniel Abayo.
Speaking on the inauguration, WABOTAN President, Tope Fajemirokun said the step is necessary in order to concretize the association’s organogram.
“In this association, we have an organogram where we have the BOT, National, States and Zones. We are just coming up, the BOT has inaugurated the National body, so, today the National body is also inaugurating the state body so that they can carryout state activities, the National body cannot be everywhere, the State executives have to control matters concerning the state.
“We expect them to work closely with the Lagos State Government, regulators and boat operators at their own state level and their must not be any conflict of interest. As National President, I cannot be doing the work of state executives.
“What we are targeting now is membership drive, we want to reach out to more boat drivers and expose them to our plans for the profession and for the waterways” he said
The association has also launched a sticker for all members to be placed on their boats so as to ensure identification.
“We are compiling the data base of all our members which we would send to the regulatory authorities, once the boat number or membership member of the boat is imputed in their system, it would bring out all information” Fajemirokun added.
Also speaking, Chairman Board of Trustees (BOT) of WABOTAN, Comrade Paul Gwam stated that the association is now targeting the establishment of executives in all litoral states, even up to the North.
According to him, the inauguration of the state chapter executives is to assist the National Executive which is already on ground, so that they can address some of the challenges on ground, by so doing, the national executives can concentrate on other national matters.
“When you are given a position, it is for a responsibility, maybe the people were sleeping before, but right now, they have to meet up with the challenges ahead of them, especially from the boat drivers.
“For instance, we have been calling them for their certification, we have done a lot of courses for them to get their basic mandatories and have their drivers license, but they are adamant to come for that test, it is not a written test but oral.
“We have done about three training programmes for them, we want them to get their certificate which would even allow them to drive within the West Coast, it would also give them some sense of belonging, this is because some of the operators drive recklessly.
“The State executives and his exco should be able to tackle all these challenges with state agencies like NIWA, NIMASA and LASWA.
“We hope to reciprocate this inauguration in other parts of the country, even up North, it’s just a matter of time, very soon you would be hearing us in Lokoja, Bayelsa and so on” he said
On his part, the newly inaugurated Lagos State Chairman, Comrade Doubrah Jacob promised that his executives would promote safety and peace on the Lagos waterways and to represent the less privileged.
He called on boat operators to join WABOTAN for more progress.
“We have been on this project to ensure that there is safety on the waterways and to improve the way we passenger people from one place to another.
We are not in competition with any group, within a short time people would see what we are up to.
“We are having training programs ahead of us to teach our members on how to handle life jackets and how to identify original ones that can enable people float on the water in case their is any accident, we shall have these life jackets tested and trusted before we give it out to people.
“Also, a lot of boat operators because of the economic situation of the country cannot change their life jackets and it has become so dirty, we are going to work on all these areas, so that whoever is entering into the boat would know that he is entering a clean atmosphere, cleanliness is very important” he concluded