Dr, George Moghalu, Managing Director, National Inland Waterways Authority, NIWA
Boat operators and captains plying the Lagos state territorial waters would soon be compelled to attend compulsory training after which they would be licensed and be included in the register of the National Inland Waterways Authority, NIWA.
The Lagos Area Manager of NIWA, Engineer Sarat Lara Braimah, made this known at a stakeholders’ forum with boat operators in Lagos state saying the incessant boat mishaps had called for a new way of promoting the safety of water transport.
Engr Braimah said most captains were of low education and had little understanding of the enormous danger the machine they operate could cause if all statutory precautionary measures were neglected.
She said those that would be trained would bag a license which will be valid for three years.
She further said the training would afford the regulatory authority to know the captains as their records would domicile with NIWA for quick future reference.
Engr Lara Braimah noted that with the license from NIWA, the value would be added to the Captains as they would be seen as skilled professionals and more respect would be accorded to them.
The Lagos Area Manager said with the training comes additional responsibility as captains would henceforth be made accountable for their deeds and misdeeds because to whom much is given, much is expected.
Braimah wondered how much awareness and the enormous potentials of the blue waters does the operators know?
She said operators would acquire through the training the knowledge base to appreciate the blue waters alongside their potentials as were positioned for economic sustainability while the brown waters she said had what it takes to also compete with the blue economy.
She noted that the stakeholders in brown waters operation had what it takes to move the sub sector to an enviable level, pointing out that the series of boat mishaps in recent times could be attributed to carelessness and other human errors.
Braimah also noted that the training program would be devoid of language barrier as all types of dialects will complement the capacity building project.
Speaking in the same vein, the General Manager, Marine Operations, NIWA, Engineer Joseph Ororo, at the stakeholders meeting reiterated that the training would be mandatory for skippers operating in Lagos state.
According to him, NIWA with the collaborative support from accredited institutions would design a curriculum for training of the skippers.
He said the training would be categorized into the three phases, which would include practical and theoretical methodology.
Ororo added that the training would also be extended to executive boat operators.
The General Manager said the move was necessitated against the backdrop of the poor educational background of the skippers and captains in brown waters operations.
He reiterated that, “This training of our boat operators is long overdue. We have started it in Bayelsa, Delta and Rivers states but here we are now in Lagos, the center of excellence.
The stakeholders meeting had in attendance members of ATBOWATON, MWUN, officials from LAGSFERRY, and the service providers in the waterways transportation ecosystem.
By-: Ayoola OlaitanShare