Nigeria: Boat Mishaps - 'Operators Involved in Reckless Accidents May Lose Licence'

3 August 2020

Lagos — The Lagos Area office of the National Inland Waterways Authority (NIWA) has warned it would not hesitate to deregister and withdraw the operational licence of any operator indicted for recklessness in any boat accident on the Lagos waterways.

NIWA said it would also prosecute and ensure the withdrawal of the certificate of any guilty boat captain as part of other stringent measures to force back sanity in the operation of water transportation services in the state.

NIWA's Lagos Area Manager, Engineer Sara Lara Braimah, said the regulatory agency would no longer fold its hands and watch some deviant operators and their employees run the business aground, adding NIWA would "go for the shovel" in ensuring zero tolerance on boat accidents.

Braimah said, "We have tried to provide the needed enabling environment, including training programmes, to expose stakeholders to operational standards. Yet, some operators have chosen the part of desperation and dangerous behaviour, leading to loss of lives and property."

She further stated that the Authority's patience with "unrepentant" operators had been overstretched and spoke of a new agenda of enforcement that would not accept plea and forgiveness.

She disclosed that pre-boarding formalities targeted at passengers awareness would henceforth form part of the enforcement regime to educate passengers afraid of water transportation to adhere to safety measures, particularly during turbulence on the waterways.

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