Owners of substandard boats and reckless boat drivers have been warned to operate in accordance with the recommended standards and practices as not complying with the regulations will instantly attract the full wrath of the law.
Mr Damilola Emmanuel, General Manager, Lagos State Waterways Authority, (LASWA), gave the warning while fielding questions on The Morning Show, on Arise television station.
He promised that his agency, LASWA, will rev up enforcement on recommended safety measures and go after the substandard boats and their owners and drivers with disdain for safety principles and those that engage in substance abuse.
To buttress the resolve of the government agency, LASWA, to enforce the law without minding whose ox is gored, Damilola Emmanuel, cited one dangerous driver found culpable in an accident in which many people died, the driver he said was arraigned in court and the court pronounced life imprisonment on him.
LASWA helmsman said, “one of the boat drivers whose actions led to a boat mishap some years back was recently sentenced to life imprisonment”.
For operators who are wont to cutting corners on maintenance and voyage-worthy standards of their boats, he said LASWA will come very hard on them as a means to save the lives of commuters.
Damilola Emmanuel told his viewers thus, “we are coming harder on operators who are compromising standards. With the huge capital committed to the water transportation sector, we cannot fold our arms and allow mediocrity”, he said.
He admonished passengers on the waterways to be safety conscious always. He added, “The life jacket can save your lives. Buy your own life jacket if you must. Inspect the life jackets that you are given and make sure it does not have holes or torn while avoiding night travels, said Emmanuel.
The General Manager charged boat users and the general public to be safety conscious as all hands must be on deck to achieve an appreciable level of safety hence, urged everyone that discovers any untoward activities that could constitute a threat to water safety to volunteer such information to the authority- When you see something, say something.
Mr Damilola Emmanuel said he had observed that the high cost of brand new boat engines posed an impediment to operators’ fleet renewal hence, talks had begun with the manufacturer, Yamaha, on how the price of new engines could be adjusted so as to be in the reach of operators most of who fall under small and medium entrepreneurs.
The General Manager expressed his condolence to the families of victims who lost their lives in the two recent boat mishaps in the State.Share