NIWA charges boat operators against night travels

The National Inland Waterways Authority (NIWA) has charged boat operators against travelling on the waterways after 6 p.m., which is in line with its safety guidelines.

The General Manager, Corporate Affairs NIWA, Mr. Tayo Fadile, made the appeal while commiserating with Lagos State Government over a boat mishap on Saturday at Bayeku in Ikorodu, Lagos State.

In a statement on Monday, Fadile said: "We were reliably informed by NIWA Lagos Area Office that a 20-passenger boat owned by Mr Kasali, a member of Association of Tourist Boat Operators and Water Transport of Nigeria (ATBOANTON) had capsized.

“The Area Office of NIWA in Lagos, when contacted, immediately deployed the water ambulance boat with the search and rescue team to the scene of the mishap and the team were able to rescue 17 passengers alive and three dead bodies.

“We will like to appeal to the general public, especially waterways users, to strictly adhere to NIWA safety guidelines, especially for boat operators to stop traveling in the evening after 6 p.m.

“The boat which took off in the evening of Saturday from Okeranla in Ajah heading to Bayeku in Ikorodu ran into a heap of a dredged sand and capsized."

He, however, said that NIWA would continue to encourage boat operators to do the right thing and reduce the incessant boat mishap on the waterways by adhering to safety regulations as stipulated by NIWA.