NIWA impounds wooden boat ferrying Lagos school children without life-jackets


         ...to charge boat operator and driver to court



The National Inland Waterways Authority (NIWA) has impounded a private passenger boat that was transporting school children going for a schools event from Takwa Bay to Osborne without having life-jackets on.

NIWA made known in a statement by the General Manager, Corporate Affairs, Mr. Tayo Fadile, that while on its routine inspection on March 28th, 2019, it discovered the boat carrying students of Government Secondary School being exposed to such risk on the Lagos lagoon.

Describing the route as one of the busiest, NIWA said the students ought to have been given a standard approved life-jacket each as a standard safety practice.

It said: “A standard approved life jacket is an essential requirement for water transportation and its use is mandatory, for it is the only tool that helps to ensure the survival of lives in the unfortunate event of a mishap.

What is more, nobody can rule out the possibility of a mishap occurring on any trip at any given time, as a result of several factors that may be beyond human control.

The National Inland Waterways Authority places a very high premium on the safety of lives on water.”

The Authority said it would continue in its efforts to monitor activities on the Island waterways with routine and control inspections, and would not hesitate to seek maximum lawful penalties against violators of safety measures.

It promised to charge the operator and driver of the impounded boat to Court under extant laws, in order to serve as deterrent to other operators in the industry.

It bemoaned the fact that many lives had been lost from boat mishaps, and the need for more conscious effort to prevent further loss of lives on the waterways.

NIWA solicited the support of all Nigerians, and particularly that of stakeholders in the water transportation sub-sector and the media in its waterways safety campaign.