Lagos Assembly laments boat accidents, summons transport commissioner, others

Members of the Lagos State House of Assembly on Monday summoned the Commissioner for Transportation, the Special Adviser to the Governor on Transportation and the General Manager, Lagos State Waterways Authority (LASWA), to appear before them next Tuesday to address the Assembly on the persistent incidence of boat accidents in the state.

The Speaker, Mudashiru Obasa, gave the summons after the submissions of some lawmakers in response to a motion moved by a member, Fatai Mojeed, representing Ibeju Lekki Constituency I.

Mojeed had raised a ‘Matter of Urgent Public Importance’, referring the House to recurring boat accidents in the state with attendant loss of lives.

He said, “The state has recorded three boat accidents in the Ijede, Ikorodu and Badagry areas of the state. We must call Governor Akinwunmi Ambode to call on relevant agencies of government, particularly LASWA, to ensure strict compliance with extant rules guiding the operation of water transportation and business in Lagos.”

Another lawmaker, Rotimi Olowo of Somolu Constituency II, condemned deaths on the waterways.

He said the government should bring in experienced operators, especially foreign investors, who would provide modern boats that could stand tidal waves on the high sea.

A member of the House, Omotayo Oduntan, said her observation showed that many local operators usually overloaded their rickety boats with passengers.

This, according to her, is a contributing factor to boat accidents in the state.

She said, “The government must invest in water transport and invite foreign investors, while LASWA should provide life jackets for schoolchildren.”

Another lawmaker, Lanre Ogunyemi, said LASWA needed to be empowered to monitor the waterways.

Sikiru Osinowo advised LASWA to liaise with the National Waterways Agency (NIWA) to dredge the waterways and create transport channels for boats.

The Chief Whip, Rotimi Abiru, adopted Osinowo’s submission, but added that victims should be compensated.

The Speaker in his ruling, said, “We need to protect our people; we need to evaluate existing laws. It is our responsibility as stated in the constitution to provide security for the people. Therefore, we need to look into issues leading to recurring boat accidents. I rule that the Commissioner for Transportation and the Special Adviser on Transportation, as well as the General Manager of LASWA should be invited to appear before the House next Tuesday.”  



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