Chinazor Megbolu |
The Lagos State Waterways Authority (LASWA) on Christmas day pounced on boat operators withdrawing 5 boats and confiscating 55 life jackets.
The agency said the operations carried out was an inspection based on safety, which they violated.
The General Manager, LASWA, Mr. Oluwadamilola Emmanuel stated that the withdrawal and confiscation became necessary following its just-concluded bi-annual safety inspection.
He also explained that the inspection was to guarantee safety of passengers on waterways during and after the festive season when boating and fun-seeking activities increase on waterways.
“The end of Year 2019 hull and machinery condition survey for boats has been concluded. The exercise lasted for five weeks”.
“A total of 106 boats were inspected across Ikorodu, Agbara, Badagry and Apapa axis. Five open boats hull at Apapa axis (Coconut Landing) were found to be in very bad condition.
“They have been withdrawn from operations and our Water Guards are also on the look out to ensure that they don’t return to the operations.
“55 substandard and condemned life jackets were confiscated after buoyancy tests, through physical examination,” he said.
Emmanuel further pointed out that the confiscated life jackets were the ones torn, without zippers, without buckles or fasteners.
He buttressed that other boats with minor deficiencies were issued repair list to comply within 2 weeks.
Emmanuel also said that appropriate sanctions and penalties had been issued and meted out to those found wanting.
He maintained the boat operators failed to meet up with safety measures hence the sanctions and penalties.
Emmanuel, however, advised boat operators and fun-seekers to make safety their watchword at all times and not only during festive seasons.
He also noted the State Governor, Babajide Sanwo-Olu is committed to developing water transport as another means of easing traffic congestion.
According to him; “the authority had deployed enough water guards to ensure strict adherence to safety rules and regulations before, during and after the Yuletide across jetties”.
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