Monday, December 4, 2023

System failure, not just overloading causes boat accidents in Nigeria: Operators

Mr Balogun described the boat accident as a national tragedy and embarrassment, saying the number of deaths was still rising.

• May 29, 2021
A loaded boat in a river
A loaded boat in a river used to illustrate the story [Photo credit: TRT World]

The Association of Tourist Boat Operators and Water Transporters of Nigeria (ATBOWATON) has decried the poor response of relevant agencies to the boat mishap which saw at least 20 persons die in Kebbi.

Its president, Gani Balogun disclosed this in a statement made available to newsmen in Lagos late Friday.

At least 20 bodies were pulled from a river where a boat carrying more than 150 passengers broke in two and sank. The boat was travelling between Niger and Kebbi states.

Authorities said only 20 people were rescued.

Mr Balogun described the boat accident as a national tragedy and embarrasment, saying the number of deaths was still rising.

He called for the dredging and removal of wreck from the Malele-Kebbi waterways.

He said in furtherance of its mission to ensure national spread and take up responsibilities, the association had always responded to accidents across the national waterways, including those in Niger state.

He added that the organisation had organised training and retraining of its members in a bid to build their emergency response capacity and also donated life jackets to them.

Mr Balogun said that they had sought the support of the traditional institutions to help drive home the need for operators’ and water users’ adherence to extant safety regulations on waterways.

“The truth is that ATBOWATON cannot singlehandedly keep the waterways safe and also create the enabling operational environment.

”It is not all accidents on water that are attributable to overloading and refusal to wear life jackets.

“There are system failures on waterways related to mapping, dredging, and wreck removal.

“These are the major issues across the waterways in those areas,” he said.

He called on both the federal and state governments to give River Niger – from Malele down to Kebbi and further ahead – the serious attention it needs considering that it is a theatre of important economic activities.

He said failure to do that would only create room for more boat accidents.


We have recently deactivated our website's comment provider in favour of other channels of distribution and commentary. We encourage you to join the conversation on our stories via our Facebook, Twitter and other social media pages.

More from Peoples Gazette

Katsina State


Katsina youths pledge to deliver over 2 million votes to Atiku

“Katsina State is Atiku’s political base because it is his second home.”

Gombe governor Yahaya Inuwa


Governor Yahaya presents N207.8 billion budget to Gombe Assembly

The budget comprises N87.25 billion, or 42 per cent, for recurrent expenditure and N120.5 billion, or 58 per cent, for capital expenditure.



Police arraign three men for murder, unlawful society membership

Ms Nwogazi also told the court that the three accused persons allegedly belonged to a society known as Eiye Confraternity.



Kano customs generated N6.9 billion revenue in November: Official

The comptroller said the command had introduced more sensitive security measures to prevent smuggling in the area.



FG settles N52 million fines for release of 399 inmates in Kaduna

Mr Ojo said no fewer than 4068 inmates would benefit from the initiative nationwide.

Calabar Carnival


Police beef up security for crime-free Calabar Carnival

The command warned all “potential” dealers and users of fireworks to desist from the illegitimate venture.

Adekunle Ajasin University Akungba


42 AAUA students bag first class, automatic employment

“First Class graduates would be given automatic jobs in the institution after NYSC.”