The Managing Director, of the National Inland Waterways Authority (NIWA); Dr. George Muoghalu last week described the recent boat mishap at Ebute Ero Jetty, in Ikorodu as a deliberate violation of night navigational rules.
Muoghalau who said this in a telephone conversation with Shipping Position Daily in Lagos said that the accident has nothing to do with not wearing life jackets by the boat passengers, even as he explained that the ill-fated boat was over loaded.
He pointedly denied complicity on the part of NIWA and its personnel in the mishap that led to several deaths.
He said: “We have provided life jackets, the last mishap that happened was not because of life jackets, it is because the operators went against the rules of not moving beyond 6pm and their boat was over-loaded.
“They (boats) don’t have night navigational aids; those were the issues that caused the mishap, it has nothing to do with life jackets if you are operating within the time we give you, its not life jackets”
He also confirmed that both NIWA and the Lagos Waterways Authourity (LASWA) now work together to ensure that the waterways are safer.
Also speaking, the Public Relations Unit of LASWA; Mrs. Nkechi Ajayi while admitting that the two agencies have been synergizing to see to the betterment of the state’s water, also said that the Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) between the two agencies have not been fully implemented.
According to her, “the MoU between the two agencies has not been fully implemented, but at the side of that, we are in collaboration with NIWA, we are working together now and everything is in synergy. On the M0U, it has not gone fully, but already between the General Manager and the Lagos Area Manager of NIWA; they have an understanding and they are working together for the good of the state”
“So, even if the MoU has not been officially signed at the federal level, but at the state level, there is an effective collaboration going on between Lagos state and NIWA. It will be safe to say that there is a kind of understanding between the two agencies, we are working together now”, she confirmed.