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Human Errors, Wrecks Responsible For Boat Mishaps – NIWA

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Following the incessant boat mishaps in the nation’s waterways, the National Inland Waterways Authority (NIWA) has blamed human errors and abandoned wrecks as causes in the waterways
To check this trend, the Authority said it has started training boat Skippers to curb the menace
NIWA said the theory of training was aimed at addressing the issue of human error that leads to boat mishaps on the waterways.
The Manager, NIWA, Lagos Area, Sarat Braimah, who stated this to newsmen during an interview in Lagos, said, “We have identified human errors and wrecks as the two major reasons we keep having boat mishaps in Lagos. That was why we started the training of boat skippers”.
On removal of wrecks from the rivers, Sarat said, “we decided to commence the removal in three locations along the Lagos waterways.
“We are starting today with Ijora. By next week, we will move to Owode and Ibeshe axis to remove wrecks so that waterways users will move freely on the waterways in Lagos.
“We have done survey analysis of what the wrecks look like and the reports have long been submitted. So, the wreck removal is commencing today and will last for the next three months.
“From the survey analysis report, we have abandoned dredgers and old ferries underneath the water that are constituting wrecks for waterways users.
“One of the wrecks underneath the water is a 100-passenger capacity ferry. So, you can see that survey analysis has already revealed to us what we are expected to remove, and the removal process will commence today”.
She said the Kirikiri to Badagry water axis was left out of the exercise because the Nigerian Maritime Administration and Safety Agency (NIMASA) was handling that section.
“We were supposed to start from the Badagry area but as you all know, NIMASA has been given the approval to remove wrecks from Kirikiri to Badagry.
That is why we are focusing on other areas of the Lagos Inland waterways.
“The Badagry area is close to the routes where ocean-going vessels pass through when coming to our ports, that was why it was agreed that NIMASA should handle that area,” she said.

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Fuel Price Hike: PH, Bonny Passengers May Pay N4,000 Before Christmas

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Following the increase in petrol pump price in Rivers State to N230 per liter, Bonny Maritime Transport Association (BMTA) says passengers travelling to Bonny Island from Port Harcourt may have to pay N4,000 each before Christmas.
The Association said boat operators along Bonny routes are facing difficulties in getting petrol to power their boats to the Island.
BMTA said the petroleum pump price has also forced the prices of spare parts beyond the reach of the poor.
Disclosing this to The In Port Harcourt in a telephone interview, Marine Safety Officer, BMTA, Comrade Kim Dimkpa,  expressed regret that passengers to the Island are passing through difficulties, saying since the petroleum pump price hike, passengers now pay N3,000 to Bonny
He insisted that if the pump price is not checked, the Association would be forced to increase the fair to N4,000 before Christmas.
Dimkpa said in the past when the pump price were N150 per liter, fair to Bonny was N2,000 to ,N2,500 per passenger.
The Safety Officer appealed to relevant government agencies responsible for control of the pump price to come to the aid of the masses in Nigerian by ensuring that the price remains affordable.
“I call on the NNPC, and other relevant agencies for the control of petroleum pump price to assist the masses and reduce the price to N150 per litre to save lives.
“Boat operators, bus drivers and other end users depend daily on the product to survive.
“Our leaders are not helping matters, the masses are dying everyday of economic hardships, the rich are getting richer every day, while the poor masses are dying of hunger and starvation in the midst of plenty”, Dimkpa said.
He appealed to State Governors and other stakeholders in the industry to intervene in reverting to the old pump price of N150 per liter for consumers.

By: Chinedu Wosu

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