Lagos bans night travels on water

The Lagos State Waterways Authority on Thursday banned transport operators on waterways in the state from making night trips.

The ban followed the deadly boat mishap in FESTAC Town Canal in which no fewer than 13 people died, while three were still missing.

The Managing Director of LASAWA, Olayinka Marinho, announced the ban while speaking with reporters in Lagos.

He said that LASAWA had been warning operators on waterways in the state to desist from embarking on night trips and to also ensure that ferry users had life jackets.

“The boat was travelling at night, overloaded, and no one on board wore life jacket. It is unfortunate that people find it hard to heed warnings. Four school children and some adults have been confirmed dead, we are still carrying out investigations on the number of male adults on board.

“We don’t support passengers travelling at night in view of the threat to passengers’ security. No operator or passenger should travel at night, especially in boats without navigational lights,” he said.

The LASWA boss said that the place where the victims were travelling to was not part of the authority’s ferry route.

He said that the non-motorised canoe was just making a five-minute crossing from one end of the canal to the other on the waterways when the incident occurred at about 7.30 p.m.

Marinho said that rescue operation was ongoing as there were still missing persons, adding that the agency would intensify enforcement of waterways regulations to forestall future occurrence.

“LASWA will continue to enforce the proper usage of life jackets, prevent over-loading and discourage night travel,” he said.

Waterways in Lagos are open at 6 am to 6pm daily.

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