NIWA tasks boat operators on safety measures
The National Inland Waterways Authority (NIWA) has urged boat operators and ferry service providers to adhere to safety rules and regulations to avoid mishaps.
Elsie Egwuatu, head of marine operations, NIWA, made the appeal at the training of the Waterfront Boat Owners and Transporters Association of Nigeria (WABOTAN) on Saturday in Lagos.
One hundred and twenty boat operators and ferry service providers received training and certificates on safety on the inland waterways.
Ms Egwuatu said adherence to the rules and regulations would ensure the safety of all concerned on the waterways.
“NIWA is always desirous of keeping the waterways accident free, and we are ready to collaborate with anybody or association that is keeping into this endeavours as safety is everybody’s business, both regulators, operators and the passengers,” she added.
Ms Egwuatu advised other associations to bring up initiatives that would impact society, noting that most of the accidents on our waterways are caused by human errors.
“If we can catch operators for them to know what is expected of them on the waterways, we will be able to achieve the safety we are clamouring for,” she said.
Patrick Ike, the assistant director, district surveyor, Nigerian Maritime Administration and Safety Agency (NIMASA), said the programme was supposed to address greater mishap problems on the country’s waterways.
“Unfortunately, when we that are supposed to come and enlighten the operators to imbibe the safety culture in them are called, we don’t attend. At the end of the day, we blame some of these mishaps on negligence and incompetence.
“We that have the key and suppose to do something on this are not doing so; what do we expect, the rate of the mishap will still continue,” he said.
Damilola Emmanuel, general manager, the Lagos State Waterways Authority (LASWA), said they were happy to support any initiative that would bring the development of inland waterways.
Ngozi Njoku, commandant, Nigerian Ports Authority (NPA) Fire Service, noted that the hunger to do things right and professionally should be the concern of all participants in the training.
Also, Sunday Avoseh, president, Seaman’s branch, Maritime Workers Union of Nigeria (MWUN), noted that there was nothing as dangerous as working with an untrained worker, applauding the association for the training.
The president of WABOTAN, Tope Fajemirokun, said that the exercise was necessary because of the usual rush of the ember months in water transportation and the attendant mishaps.
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