The Chartered Institute of Logistics and Transport (CILT) Nigeria has harped on the need to go beyond reporting boat mishaps on the nation’s waterways to investigating the mishap and report turned in to enable government take necessary step towards preventing future occurrence.
The National Executive Director, CILT Nigeria, Mr. Paul Ndibe who stated this in an interview with our correspondent in Lagos said that it was not enough to report that a ferry capsized, two person dead, four others missing, adding that one should expect that every accident should be investigated and a report of the accident turned in.
In his words, “I don’t know how many of these accidents that have been investigated, accidents are just reported. It is not enough to report that a ferry capsized, two person dead, four others missing. What one should expect is that every accident should be investigated and there is a report so that there will be a trail. From the report, government will now be able to look at the issues around these things and start setting up mechanisms to stem the tide.”
While pointing out that the whole burden should not be left to the Lagos State Government, Ndibe further maintained that there should be a regulation on the waterways, open it up, set a standard for private investors to come in.
He observed that many people were afraid to take the boats across the waterways because they were looking at the size of the boats saying, “if it is given out and regulated with a standard manner of operation, private operators will bring standard boats that will be attractive for people to use and really, there is a huge investment and also the profit level is high.”
“It is a good avenue for people to put their money, have a necessary return and be happy with their investment. But so far, it is not yet open enough for private investors to go in.
“Government should look into that direction, set up a standard, license them effectively, monitor them and set out a regulation for use. If we do all that, it is a flow mechanism and it has also the level of distortions you have on the road, just like you have distortions on air by the cloud, you also have distortions on the water bodies.
“So, there should be standard boat that will be able to resist such disruptions and it is those disruptions that the people are mostly afraid of but not with the type of the majority of the boats we see around. Some are not even covered and some do not even have hand rails and if there is any wave, the boat tilts to one side and then, of course, capsizes”, he further said.
He however regretted the attendant loss of lives on the inland waterways as a result of boat mishaps even as he described it as unfortunate.
“It is unfortunate that it is also happening, lives are being lost and if you look at it, there is an increased tempo or need to use the waterways because of the experiences on our roads, congestions. The Lagos State government is beginning to provide facilities towards addressing this need, that is the supply end but it is not enough. For the private operators that are there, there should be effective monitoring” he concluded.
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