NIWA to criminalize boat driving without certification

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NIWA to criminalize boat driving without certification

Segun Oladipupo    |

National Inland Waterways Authority (NIWA) has placed a ban on vessels without navigational aids from plying the country’s waterways in the night and early in the morning.

The waterways regulatory agency said it discovered that most of the accidents on the waterways occur in the night or early in the morning.

The Managing Director of NIWA, Dr. George Moghalu hinted that he had given the directive to arrest boat drivers who are not certified as well as impound such vessels.

He said this at a stakeholders’ meeting in Lagos on Friday.

As part of efforts to guarantee the safety of boat operators and commuters, he said the Authority had signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with an American company to supply life jackets to all the jetties in the country.

In a similar vein, he maintained that the Authority is working towards acquiring ambulances that will be deployed to moving accident victims along the waterways.

His words, “A few weeks back, we signed a memorandum of understanding with an American company that is going to supply life jackets to all jetties in this country and they are working on it now.

“We want to make it a crime for you to board any of our vessels in any of our jetties without being properly kitted.

“I have also issued a directive to our marine department emphasizing the fact that we are a regulatory agency. We want to make it an offence for you to use any vessel that is not certified, without a permit on any waterway.

“We will impound it if we see it and we have given that directive to our offices.

“We have gone a step further to criminalize the process of non-certified boat drivers operating on our waterways.

“For us to be on the side of fairness and justice, our training school both in Lagos and Warri, we are fine-tuning them so that they can be fully functional so that no one will give us the excuse they are not properly trained or they don’t have a facility where they can be trained.

“We have also placed a ban on vessels that have no navigational aid, they should not be allowed to ply the waterways in the night or early in the morning,” he stated.

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