The Lagos State Waterways Authority (LASWA) said Tuesday that it had withdrawn and confiscated five boats and 55 life jackets from the waterways, following its just-concluded bi-annual safety inspection.
The General Manager of LASWA, Oluwadamilola Emmanuel, disclosed this in an interview with the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) in Lagos.
According to Mr Emmanuel, the inspection was to guarantee the safety of passengers on waterways during and after the Yuletide as boating and fun-seeking activities increases on waterways.
“The end of Year 2019 hull and machinery condition survey for boats has been concluded. The exercise lasted for five weeks.
“A total of 106 boats were inspected across Ikorodu, Agbara, Badagry and Apapa axis. Five open boats hull at Apapa axis (Coconut Landing) were found to be in very bad condition.
“They have been withdrawn from operations and our water guards are also on the lookout to ensure that they don’t return to the operations.
“55 substandard and condemned life jackets were confiscated after buoyancy tests, thorough physical examination,” he said.
The LASWA boss said the confiscated life jackets were either found to be torn, without zippers, without buckles or fasteners.
According to him, other boats with minor deficiencies are issued repair list with a maximum of two weeks to comply.
He also said that appropriate fines had been issued and penalties meted out, accordingly, to boat operators that failed to meet up with safety measures.
Mr Emmanuel urged boat operators and fun-seekers to make safety their watchword, not only during the festive season but beyond.
He said that Governor Babajide Sanwo-Olu was committed to developing water transport as an alternative to traffic congestion.
Mr Emmanuel said the authority had deployed enough water guards to ensure strict adherence to safety rules and regulations before, during and after the Yuletide across jetties.