Nov. 25, 2022
As the Yuletide approaches, the Lagos State Government has reiterated that the Law banning boat operators plying the state’s waterways from operating beyond 7.00 pm each day still subsists.
A joint statement issued by the Director-General, Lagos Safety Commission (LSC), Mr. Lanre Mojola and the General Manager, Lagos State Waterways Authority (LASWA), Mr. Damilola Emmanuel, said all operators must comply with the waterways safety code to prevent avoidable boat accidents that could lead to loss of lives.
According to the statement, “In line with the waterways’ safety code developed by all waterway’s regulators and stakeholders, boat transport activities are to take place between 5:30 am and 7.00 pm every day. It is an offense for boat operators and passengers to be seen on inland waterways outside of these hours”.
“Therefore, all waterways’ users are advised to strictly observe this time restriction in order to avoid boat mishaps. On no condition should anyone get onboard a vessel after or before the stipulated operational hours. Likewise, no passenger or operator can board a vessel without wearing a life vest with standard buoyancy factor”, it added.
The release also advised boat operators to adequately fuel their vessel tanks for each journey as fueling mid-sea is an unsafe practice, adding that they should also ensure regular maintenance of the engines for effective performance.
While noting that the last quarter of the year is a crucial period because of the general increase in commuters’ travel, it emphasised the need for boat operators to take extra safety precautions owing to the resurgence of water hyacinths on some navigable channels on the inland waterways.
The statement reads: “Boat operators are advised to navigate water channels cautiously to avoid ramping into water hyacinth as the plant could entangle boat engines leading to breakdown, loss of control, and in some cases, accidents.
As you are aware, the Lagos State Government is developing a multimodal transport system in which all three modes of transportation available are being integrated to improve travel time, cost, experience and overall safety of all commuters”.
“The State Government has empowered LASWA and LAWMA to clear and dispose of all wastes on inland waterways in the State. This exercise is expected to commence soon.
In addition, LASEMA, in conjunction with LASWA, has put in place a robust emergency response system that would see responders arrive at an accident scene with a full complement of trained first aiders and paramedics for any eventuality”, the statement averred.