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NIWA, LASWA to improve regulatory system, ensure safe waterways

L-R;  Area Manager, NIWA; MD LASWA and Commissioner of Waterfront leaving Ijede Jetty

The National Inland Waterways Authority
(NIWA) has said that it would collaborate with the Lagos State Waterways
Authority (LASWA) to improve the regulatory framework for water transportation
in the state.

Mr Muazu Sambo, the Lagos Area Manager of NIWA, disclosed this in an
interview  in Lagos.

He said the partnership would strengthen efficiency in water transportation
in Lagos State and boost the compliance of boat operators to safety standards
and the approved modes of operation.
Sambo spoke against the backdrop of recurring cases of boat mishaps in the
He said: “We decided to collaborate when I had a chance meeting with the
new managing director of LASWA, who was introduced to me by the Commissioner
for Waterfront Infrastructure Development.
“We resolved that as regulatory agencies of government, we have a common
purpose, and if we indeed have a common purpose, there is no reason why we
should not collaborate.
“We believe that some operators are taking undue advantage of the
disconnect between us by short-changing members of the public in the provision
of their services,’’ he said.
Sambo added that the formulation of common standards and compliance
arrangements would compel boat operators to acquire better boats, improve
safety and provide better services to the public.
On the Jan. 30 boat mishap at Ijede, in Ikorodu, which claimed seven lives,
Sambo said both NIWA and LASWA have agreed to revisit the appeal by boat
operators for the use of open-roof boats.
NAN reports that some boat operators had called for the use of such boats
because they believed it would reduce the risk of passengers getting trapped in
the boats during emergencies.
The manager noted that the casualty figures from such incidents would not
have been high if the boats were designed with adequate facilities to enable passengers
to be able to escape in emergency situations.
He, however, added that all passengers of the ill-fated boat were strapped
with their life jackets during the trip.
Sambo, therefore, advised boat operators to ensure that they complied with
the best safety requirements, to make their trips safe. 

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