As part of efforts to curb the menace of boat mishaps in Lagos state, Lagos State Waterways Authority (LASWA) said it has intensified plans to clampdown the activities of illegal boat and jetty operators in the state.
The Managing Director of LASWA, Mr. Oluwadamilola Emmanuel told journalists that the mishaps are often caused by illegal operations on the inland waterways and added that strict enforcement would be meticulously carried out across the State to restrict the illegal operators.
His words: “Being a developing sector, one of the things that LASWA has had to do is to be very strict on enforcement. Enforcement is going to be an ongoing thing because you would constantly have those people who are going to default. In terms of clamping down on jetties that are substandard is something that LASWA has been looking to go round the state to clamp down on illegal jetties”.
Emmanuel disclosed that the core objective of LASWA is to ensure that safety, being a key feature of water transportation is not compromised.
He also stated that the safety of passengers on a boat was far beyond wearing life jackets, stressing that it was important to ensure that the jetty or boat operator had put other safety measures before embarking on any journey.
“For us in LASWA, safety is really our culture and one of the things we promote in the last few years is the wearing of life jackets. If you go across the inland waterways you will find minimal people who would not comply, most people are generally aware that they should wear their life jacket.
‘‘The very first thing one should note is the kind of jetty they are getting on, first of all is it a substandard jetty, is it a state approved jetty, does the jetty have any issue and then even if they are getting on a boat, which boat am I getting into? The life jacket; is it ripped, does it have any damage? Then who is the captain of the vessel?
“These are the things that any person intending to cross from one jetty to another need to take into consideration before embarking on any vessel”, he said.
He also disclosed that the State Government, under the administration of Governor Akinwunmi Ambode was working on creating dedicated routes for boat operators, adding that plans were ongoing to create at least 30 routes across the State to boost inter-modal transportation.
The LASWA boss said that four routes were currently being dredged and would be channelized between now and the first quarter of 2018.
“The next thing is to register the boats to make sure that we have a data base of all the boats that are currently plying the waterways, to find out if they are safe and if they should be on our waterways.”
“The vision of LASWA is to ensure safer and cleaner waterways which is currently in line with Governor Ambode’s vision of a safer, cleaner and more prosperous Lagos and this we are totally committed to pursuing”, he added.
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