The Director General of the Nigerian Maritime Administration and Safety Agency (NIMASA) Ziakede Patrick Akpobolokemi has said that adequate sensitization of boat operators, enlightenment of passengers and enforcement of safety standards are necessary to curb the growing cases of boat mishaps in Nigeria.
The Director General who said this at the flag off of Safety Awareness Campaigns for operators of boats and other mechanically propelled water crafts explained that NIMASA is committed to the safety of lives and property on the nation’s water ways and as such will continue to intensify safety awareness campaigns in states where water transportation is in high use.
Mr. Akpobolokemi who expressed concern over the increasing number of boat accidents which have claimed many lives and properties noted that information sharing with stakeholders has the potential to significantly reduce accidents. In his words “as a Maritime Administration committed to the enhancement of safety of marine transport, it has become important to educate boat operators and enlighten passengers utilizing water transport on the safety procedures to be adopted at all times”.
He therefore charged boat operators to adhere strictly to safety standards in all their operations in order to stem the ugly tide of deaths occasioned by boat accidents on the waterways.
The Safety Awareness Campaign which is in phases has already been conducted in Lagos, Cross River and Anambra States while those of Bayelsa, Akwa Ibom, Rivers, Delta and Kogi States will commence this week.
Under the International Convention for Safety of Life at Sea (SOLAS 1974), NIMASA as the custodian of all IMO conventions also has responsibility to ensure the safety of lives at sea of all kind of craft in its waters.