The Association of Tourists Boats Operators and Water Transportation of Nigeria (ATBOWATN) has called on the government to install navigational signs and lights along the nation’s waterways to guide boat operators on safe navigation on waterways in order to reduce the rate of accidents on waters.
The National President of ATBOWATN, Mr. Ganiyu Sekoni Balogun who spoke on behalf the association in an interview with our correspondent in Lagos said that since it was obvious that the government don’t have the capacity to dredge the whole of the nation’s waterways, it was imperative for it to install navigational signs along the waterways to save the boats from running aground leading to loss of lives in most case.
Balogun who is also the Managing Director of Gani-Tarzan Marine Enterprises Nigeria Limited called for navigational lights along the waterways to aid operators’ visibility especially during the harmattan period as most of the operators usually park their boats during harmattan season as a result of fogs.
“Government cannot dredge everywhere, it is not possible. What is lacking now is navigational signs from one end to another telling the operators the shallow routes as well as navigable routes so that when you are driving your boat, you know you have to look out for green ones and drive through ten metres on either left or right sides of the green signs. So these are the areas government needs to look at because the little channels that they are working on now, not everybody knows it.
“And then during harmattan period, it becomes foggy that you cannot see, light supposed to be there. Because of harmattan, we can’t drive our boats anymore and the people have to go to work. Sometimes, those who are not conversant with that route, you are going to Yaba, you find yourself in Agege or you are going to Agege, you find yourself in Ikorodu, it has happened so many times. But with navigational signs and lights, the operators will be properly guided. These are the area government needs to come in”, he submitted.
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