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LASWA to sanction boat operators over fake life jackets

The Lagos State Waterways Authority (LASWA) has threatened to withdraw the licences of boat operators who use fake or substandard life jackets as a means of reducing casualties on Lagos territorial waterways.
The Managing Director of LASWA, Damilola Emmanuel gave the hint while responding to questions from Journalists at Ebute Ero jetty in Lagos.
The agency had gone to give awareness and simulation on how victims can be rescued during a boat mishap and the necessity for wearing life jackets while travelling on water.
On boat operators issuing substandard life jackets to passengers, the LASWA boss maintained that once the agency nabs any operator giving substandard life jackets to passengers,, the agency would seize the life jackets from the operator as well as end the operation
Asked if it was enough punishment for the defaulters, he responded,”It is enough because you will not function, you dare not go on the waterways without putting on a life jacket”.
He however blamed recent drop in passenger traffic on the Lagos waterways on improved and better operation of the transit buses from Ikorodu to different parts of Lagos prompting passengers to patronize them more.
The MD had in a recent report admitted that there was a drop in passenger traffic on waterways from 2 million to 1 million five hundred thousand monthly.
Mr. Emmanuel said that efforts were on to increase the number of passengers on waterways so as to reduce the pressure on the roads
According to him, LASWA has licensed ten new operators who would be bringing in more ferries by next year to meet the expected passenger traffic.
In his words, ”Several factors can contribute to this issue but the truth about this is, if you noticed, like we mentioned, there is going to be a marine unit which LASEMA is going to control. That marine unit is strictly for emergency and response on the waterways like you have on the land.
“So, with this kind of thing that we are talking about, with the more boats that LASWA is going to purchase next year as well, you are going to see that response which for anyone on the waterways, by the way, you look at all these boats that we are calling to regularize and inspection that we are carrying out on all these boats, by the time we are sure that all those boats are doing what they are supposed to be doing, you will see that generally, people will become more water confident.

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