The National Inland Waterways Authority (NIWA) has vowed to deregister and withdraw operational licences of certain boat operators
The Lagos Area Office of NIWA disclosed this on Sunday in reaction to accidents on Lagos waterways in recent times.
Area Manager, Sarat Braimah, in a statement warned that the agency would no longer allow operators to cause avoidable deaths.
She regretted that despite training programmes on operational standards, some chose the path of desperation and dangerous behaviours.
The official declared that the agency had run out of patience with recalcitrant operators.
She, however, observed that some passengers go into a panic mood, triggering fearful alarm and causing bedlam leading to avoidable deaths.
Braimah announced that pre-boarding formalities targeted at passengers’ awareness would now form part of the enforcement regime.
“Those afraid of water transportation will adhere to safety measures, particularly during turbulence. Time has also come for passengers to take responsibility, listen and obey boat crew when emergencies or turbulence occur,” she stated.
Also, detailed takeoff protocols, pre-boarding checks and physical inspection of use of life jackets are to be introduced.
The manager added that unscheduled checks of boats to ascertain their seaworthiness will be part of the new safety measures.
“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 takeoff”, she said.