Safety: Ferry users accuse LASWA of propaganda, deceit

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A female passenger, Tayo Animashaun has accused the Lagos State Waterways Authority (LASWA) of engaging in propaganda and deceit as it affects its operations on the water.

Animashaun who caused a stir at the Ebute Ero jetty yesterday where LASWA carried out awareness and simulation exercise on emergency response on the waterways said that government agencies were never on ground in case of accident and that the simulation was a mere propaganda to make the government believe they were working.

The passenger also alleged that a large number of the ferry captains were not properly trained on safety measures while at sea.

She lamented that patronage on water transportation had dropped due to lack of adequate safety apparatus in place by the regulatory agencies, adding that safety at sea had been compromised by government agencies.

The passenger who claimed to be a regular user of Ikorodu and Ebute Ero jetties disclosed that the state governor had done much to move water transportation to an enviable height but lamented that the regulatory agencies were incompetent in their regulatory mandate .

Animashaun who claimed that Ikorodu had the highest number of passengers on water transportation added that safety measures have been compromised by the operators thus the reason for a drop passenger traffic from the area.
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According to her,”We are regular boat users and I know the state government is trying to make things easier for us as regards water transportation but the regulators are making things difficult for us by painting a negative picture to the governor of the state ”.

“Some of the sailors are not trained properly, they don’t understand the rudiment of safety at sea and even some of the ferries are in bad shape yet nobody is there to sanction or monitor all these challenges “.

She therefore appealed to the Lagos State Governor, Mr. Akinwumi Ambode to put in place measures to address issues of substandard and fake life jackets owned by private boat operators calling on the government to monitor and sanction erring operators who display negligence on safety standards.

She further appealed to the state governor to investigate the issue of substandard life jackets adding that the a large number of passengers who patronize water transportation were worried about the situation.

Corroborating Animashaun’s view, another passenger, Mr. Bello Lawal re-emphasized the need for the governor to set up a machinery in motion to confirm their plights even as he queried the responsibilities of the LASWA on the inland waterways.

“A lot has to be done on the waterways because there are so many ills on the inland waterways which LASWA, NIWA and others cannot handle”, he said.

However, Managing Director of LASWA, Mr. Emmanuel Oluwadamilola who was at the secne of the incident declined comment on the concerns raised by the passengers, saying, “I would not want to comment on that”.

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