Lagos Assembly identifies causes of boat mishaps

The ad hoc committee on boat mishaps set up by the Lagos State House of Assembly has identified submerged objects like logs, timbers, boat wrecks and others as parts of the causes of boat mishaps following a stakeholders’ meeting held on the issue by the committee.

It also said that lack of professional boat captains, overspeeding, bad weather, overloading, non familiarisation with the terrains,, indiscriminate fishing, haphazard dredging and drunkenness of captains are causes of boat mishaps in the state waterways as well.

The committee said there was need for a round-table discussion between LASWA and National Inland Waterways Authority (NIWA) to work on the grey areas in the regulations on waterways.

It also called for periodic dredging and removal of wrecks, training and certification of boats’ captains, speed control, strict enforcement of safety regulations, provision of navigational signs and life saving apparatuses.

And further called for functional ambulances at jetties, engagement of Red Cross at jetties, regular inspection of boats, deployment of water guards, licencing of boats and operators and establishment of marine safety schools.

The committee’s also called for more funding of LASWA to perform its statutory functions.

These were part of the recommendations of the committee which was adopted as resolutions of the House when the chairman, Majority Leader, Hon. Sanai Agunbiade presented the report of the committee at plenary yesterday and after debate of the report.

The speaker added that the Ministry of Agriculture should monitor the activities and operations of loggers on the waterways to safe guard the lives of commuters.

Obasa then directed the Clerk of the House, Olusegun Abiru to forward a clean copy of the recommendations of the House to the Lagos State Waterways Authority (LASWA) and the Ministry of Transportation, adding that another copy should be forwarded to Gov. Akinwunmi Ambode.

In his contribution to debate, Hon. Bisi Yusuff (Alimosho 1) said that if the recommendations were implemented, there would be an end to water accidents in the state and that many commuters had been scared away from water transport because of the phobia of accidents.

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