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NIWA to appoint beach masters in enforcing boats’ operational time

The National
Inland Waterways Authority (NIWA) says plans are underway to ensure that boat
operators comply with stipulated operational hours nationwide.

Mr Mu’asu
Sambo, the Lagos Area Manager of NIWA, disclosed this in an interview in Lagos.

He said the
measure would ensure a pro-active approach in its risk assessment put in place
to ensure safety of passengers travelling by water.

 “You know as a matter of law in Lagos, water
crafts carrying passengers are not supposed to ply the waterways from 7pm.

“Now, what
we do is that we ensure that this regulation is complied with by making sure
that all jetties are shut down at 7 pm.

“Now, what
we are in the process of doing, we have not concluded, because it is a
tremendous task which has just started not long ago, is, in collaboration with
the association of tourist boat operators and water transporters of Nigeria,
that is AGBOATON, we have nominated people from their association for each
jetty, there will be designated beach masters.

“They will
be given some merchant Navy training after which they will be deployed to each

“One of
their primary responsibilities will be to ensure the compliance of all
regulations concerning water transportation including the one on banning
transportation at night.”

Sambo said
that contrary to other opinions, the operations of water transportation were
guided by laws and regulations moderating the safety of people.

Some stakeholders had attributed the recent increase in the number of boat
mishaps to night travel.

It would be
recalled that one of such incidences which claimed the lives of two women was during
a night travel.

The Lagos
State Waterways Authority (LASWA) said investigations showed that besides
travelling at night, some boat drivers mostly operate reckless.

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