20 April 2017, Sweetcrude Port Harcourt – Following the recent boat mishap that claimed the lives of seven travellers on the Bonny-Port Harcourt sea route, the lawmaker representing Bonny Constituency in the Rivers State House of Assembly, Mr. Abinye Pepple, has called for the collation of data of all boat operators along water ways in the state.
Pepple made the call when he hosted a joint meeting with the Nigerian Maritime Administration and Safety Agency, NIMASA, Boat Operators Association, Bonny Branch, and the Maritime Workers Union of Nigeria, MWUN, on Wednesday.
The lawmaker explained that the move was necessary to ensure the safety and security of lives and properties of the people.
He said the call for the database was to ensure easy identification of boat operators plying the Bonny-Port Harcourt water ways and to avert preventable accidents such as the one which claimed seven lives recently.
He expressed his condolences to the bereaved families and prayed God to grant them the fortitude to bear the irreparable loss.
Pepple used the opportunity to call for installation of a meteorological radar at the Bonny- Port Harcourt jetties to check weather conditions for easy navigation on the water ways, and enable boat operators ascertain the periods when travelling is safe.
According to him, “We will ensure that we introduce a meteorological weather forecast radar at the jetty, which is important in the determination of the weather, to ascertain when the weather is clear for boat operators to travel.
“Safety measures would be taken with full sense of commitment and responsibility.”
He called for proper certification of boats plying Bonny waterways to minimize frequent boat accidents.
On his part, the chairman of Maritime Workers Union, Bonny Unit, Comrade Maxwell Hart called on the Rivers State Government to improve security along the Bonny waterways to ensure safety.