Director General of the Nigerian Maritime Administration and Safety Agency (NIMASA), Patrick Akpobolokemi, has said that adequate sensitization of boat operators, enlightenment of passengers and enforcement of safety standards are necessary to curb the growing cases of boat mishaps in Nigeria.
Speaking at the flag off of a safety awareness campaign for operators of boats and other mechanically propelled water crafts, Akpobolokemi said NIMASA is committed to the safety of lives and property on the nation’s waterways and as such will continue to intensify safety awareness campaigns in states where water transportation is in high use.
He expressed concern over the increasing number of boat accidents which have claimed many lives and properties. He noted that information sharing with stakeholders has the potential of significantly reducing boat accidents.
“As a maritime administration committed to the enhancement of safety of marine transport, it has become important to educate boat operators and enlighten passengers utilizing water transport on the safety procedures to be adopted at all times,” he said.
He charged boat operators to adhere strictly to safety standards in all their operations in order to stem the tide of deaths occasioned by boat accidents on the waterways.
The NIMASA safety awareness campaign, which is in phases has already been conducted in Lagos, Cross River and Anambra States while those of Bayelsa, Akwa Ibom, Rivers, Delta and Kogi States will commence this week.
NIMASA said under the International Convention for Safety of Life at Sea (SOLAS 1974) and as the custodian of all IMO conventions, it has responsibility to ensure the safety of lives at sea on all kind of crafts in the waters within its jurisdiction.
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