The Niger Government says it is putting in place a law through the state Ministry of Transport and Inland Waterways to regulate activities of commuters using local boats as means of transportation to reduce the menace of boat mishaps in the area.
Alhaji Ahmed Inga, Director General of the Niger State Emergency Management Agency, disclosed this while speaking in Minna on Friday.
Inga explained that the measures became necessary, after 15 traders from Malale ward in Borgu Local Government Area of the state returning from Wara market in Kebbi, lost their lives in a boat mishap on Sunday evening.
“This law to be enforced will be that both drivers and passengers using boats as means of transportation must use life jackets.
“The life jackets will be provided by the ministry for free or at subsidised rates.
“The ministry is taking hazard and risk mapping across the state to identify areas prone to boat mishaps and also take enumeration of boat users to enforce the law on them,” he said.
The director-general sympathised with the families of the deceased persons and said that government was making arrangements to provide relief assistance to the victims.
He said that the agency would continue to advise government on impending disasters especially on waterways.