Committed to ensuring the safety of travellers in the state, the Bonny Local Government Council, Rivers State has set up a Marine Safety Committee to become effective July 5.
The chairman, Bonny Local Government Area, Barrister Edward Pepple who stated this Tuesday in a meeting with boat owners plying the Port Harcourt-Bonny route said the move was aimed at ensuring safe transportation along the waterway.
In a statement signed by the press secretary of the council, Harriette Jamaica, the committee would be charged with the responsibility of checking and ensuring that boat plying the route have all the safety gadgets to help protect lives of travelers in cases of mishap or other sea challenges.
Pepple who noted that there had been a drastic reduction on the level of sea piracy and boat mishaps along the route in recent times said however that the council would continue in its safety strides for the attainment of free and wholesome travels at the waterway.
While noting the place of Bonny Island in the economic value of the state, Pepple said “the safety of travelers is very important as the absence of it could affect the businesses and economy of the state and so the council will do its best to achieve it”.The council chairman also stated that transport fare for travelers would now be reduced to one thousand naira (N1000) for government boats and one thousand two hundred naira (N1,200) for private owned boats as against the N1,500 charge at present and urged all boat owners to comply with the new development, adding that any defaulter would face the wrath of the council.
The chairman further lauded the Rivers State government particularly the Commissioner for Energy and Natural Resources, Hon. Dawari George for making petroleum products available to boat owners.
He maintained that it was the assistance of the state government that had taken the council to its present position and pledged his contributions towards the safe travel of passengers to and from the Island.
He also called on boat owners and travelers alike to comply with the council’s rules and regulations on marine for the safety of all.