Boat operators decries flooding of waterways with refuse, wrecks

The Association of Tourist Boat Operators & Water Transport of Nigeria (ATBOWATON) has appealed to residents of Lagos State to desist from dumping waste into the waterways.

President of the association, Ganiyu Balogun, during the National Inland Waterways Authority (NIWA) Safety and Awareness Campaign held last Thursday at the NIWA Lagos Area Office said that debris such as nylon sheets and waterweeds constitute great danger to the operations of his members.

He urged the government to come up with permanent solutions to “the recurrent waterweeds insurgence” on the nation’s waterways even as he called for the immediate removal of wrecks which he said have “demarcated about 30 spots identified in Lagos with danger floating sign.”

To prevent further boat mishaps and accidents on the nation’s waterways, Balogun requested NIWA to provide daily patrol and rescue boats to cover the six waterways divisions in Lagos and other riverine communities in Nigeria.

“The patrol team would regulate over speeding, non-compliance with safety rules etc. Our association has also set up taskforce for safety and rescue patrol on Lagos waterways. We therefore solicit the support of Marine Police, NIWA Police, Lagos State Security Trust Fund and other well meaning Nigerians to assist us with fuel and other logistics,” Balogun further stated.

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