The Lagos Safety Commission has said that it will soon commence an annual certification of all boats operating on the Lagos waterways in other to ensure safety of both passengers and operators.
The Director-General and Chief Executive Officer of the commission, Hon. Hakeem Dickson made this known in a goodwill message to the 2nd Annual Stakeholders’ Forum on Water Transportation organized by the Lagos State Waterways Authority (LASWA) in Lagos Thursday.
Dickson disclosed that after a boat had been properly inspected and certified safe to ply on the Lagos waterways, a certificate would be issued to the operator with which he would proceed to LASWA to be registered.
He said,”Safety Commission will be coming once in a while to make sure that after you must have done your registration, you still have to come down to Safety Commission to he the certificate that says that your boat is safe. We will do the proper inspection to make sure it is not even leaking, there is no crack on it and you have proper documentations and that certificate will be issued to you that you will later take to LASWA before you can be registered. And this is something that will be done every year”.
He insisted that all boats operating in Lagos would have to be issued with a plate number for easy identification in the event of crime adding that that was the trend everywhere in the world.
“You will definitely have to have like a plate number you have in your car, that is it, it gives that boat identification that someone will still use to do insurance to cover not only the boat but the people who enters it. So, these are the conditions that we will not compromise. They are three of them, the plate number will be properly registered, the insurance will be there, them the auditing before certification.
“Believe me, it will be done properly and we will not compromise because People’s lives are in and we need to save them no matter what it takes. If you have a boat that is not fit, we will not certify you, we take you off the waters. It costs us more, do you know how much it costs LASEMA to do any emergency because of somebody’s negligence? Let us take it serious, the Governor is sick and tired of any type of accident, we can all prevent it if we do the right thing at the right time”, he added.
Earlier in his welcome address, the Managing Director of LASWA, Mr. Oluwadamilola Emmanuel pointed out that the 1st edition of the forum which took place in 2015 was the beginning of a new phase in the project called LASWA saying that from 2015 up until now, there had been continuous and recently introduced interventions on the waterways.
Emmanuel mentioned the interventions to include continuous donation of life jackets, cleaning up exercise specifically to the water hyacinth machine, inspection of boats , monitoring of the waterways, water savvy kids programmes among others.
He noted that LASWA as the inland waterways regulator for Lagos state continued to play this role of ensuring safety and various interventions on the waterways despite its not being able to generate substantial revenue due to the court injunction on the 28th March,2014.
“However, on July 18, 2017, the Court of Appeal reversed the judgement in favour of Lagos State Waterways Authority. Details of which our Director from the Ministry of Justice will expatiate on. I do not intend to take too much of our time, today is not about fancy presentations or speeches, it’s more about effective engagement between all parties.
“At the end, LASWA will want to take all that has been said and then factor it all in line with current vision of safe, clean and prosperous waterways. Let me emphasize that we want an inclusive waterways where current operators will raise the their standards and new entrants will maintain the established standards”, he said.
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