Waterways Transportation: Lagos NIWA Gives Boat Operators three Months to get License


By Innocent Orok

The National Inland Waterways Authority (NIWA) on Saturday engages boat Operators in Lagos waterways on a one day sensitisation workshop to find a lasting solution to the recent boat mishaps in the Lagos waterways.

Addressing the boat Operators at the NIWA , Area office in Lagos on Saturday, Area Manager Eng. Sarat Briamah, told the stakeholders that , the workshop has become necessary to talk to the boat Operators and Captains on how to maintain safety while carrying on their operations .

Engr. Sarat Braimah underscored the significance of the meeting, stating its primary purpose was to address challenges faced by boat operators, express concerns, and collectively strategize a way forward. She lamented the recent surge in mishaps, emphasizing that ensuring the safety of waterways is a shared responsibility.

Highlighting the lack of basic safety measures among boat operators, Braimah announced NIWA’s collaboration with certified trainers to provide training at the rate of N80,000. Upon successful completion, operators will receive a license valid for three years, renewable upon expiration.

She also noted that boat operators are granted a three-month window to undergo training and obtain licenses, after which enforcement will commence. Also stressing that errant operators failing to comply will face sanctions and prosecution.

Mrs. Elsie Egwantu, NIWA HOD Marine, stressed the importance of refreshing memories and sensitizing operators on safety measures. She urged operators to actively participate, express concerns, and engage in the process.

During the session, boat operators voiced concerns about inadequate remuneration, receiving a meager N3,000 per day with only one day off work. To meet trip targets, some operators admitted to managing faulty engines, leading to over speeding. They explained that the rush to beat the 7:00 pm jetty closure time, avoiding a N50,000 penalty from LASWA, also contributed to the unsafe practices.

Also the boat Captains in expressing their challenges said the activities of Chinese dredgers ,fishermen and some passengers attitude in keeping to safety precautions is contributing to boat mishaps.

The event saw the participation of over 250 boat captains and operators from various jetties, including Ebute Ero, Majidun, Mayegun, Ijede, Ibeshe, Ofin, Badore, and Ajah.

Notably, nine boat captains have already undergone the training, obtaining the necessary certification and licenses.

The NIWA Area Manager also said that a wide screen billboard will be provided at the Marina jetty to further educate passengers on safety regulations, especially on how to put up life jackets. She assured the Stakeholders that NIWA remains committed to promoting safety, and with this proactive approach, aims to create a safer and more responsible water transportation system.

The next set to be sensitise is the Badagry and Epe axis boat Operators.


Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here