Toju Vincent 12 March 2014, Sweetcrude, Minna – Managing Director of the National Inland Waterways Authority, NIWA, Hajia Maryam Inna Ciroma, says the proposed safety Code on the waterways will be fully enforced to safeguard the lives of Nigerians.
She said at the flag off of a safety campaign on waterways in Nupeko and Malale in Niger State that the agency had observed that Nigerians living in riverine areas do not wear life jackets while on the waters.
Ciroma said the current campaign was meant to sensitise Nigerians in the coastal areas on the need to observe safety measures that would preserve their lives in the event of any accident on the waters as she expressed regret that the two recent boat mishaps in Nupeko and Malale could have been avoided if safety measures had been observed.
The NIWA boss explained that when the accidents occurred, the authority moved in quickly to cushion the effects by donating relief materials like live jackets to people of the communities.
But, she explained that it was not enough to donate life jackets, stressing that the need to teach and tell them how and why to wear life jackets were very important.
“We realised that it is not enough to just donate these life jackets. We have to really explain to the boats owners and operators how to make use of these jackets effectively so as to help save lives in the course of future accidents.
“We are visiting these two communities not only to enlighten them on all the necessary guidelines but to also make additional life jackets available for the use of these communities. We hope that at the end of our visit, the communities would have been able to embrace all the necessary safety guidelines on our waterways,” she said.
Ciroma also disclosed that the campaign would be taken to all geo-political zones across the country, especially in the riverine areas.