Nine persons were yesterday confirmed dead after a boat mishap around Ilashe area of Ojo, Lagos State.
Some of the passengers on the boat were rescued and are said to be treated at a nearby hospital. It was gathered that the accident was as a result of the boat carrying more than its capacity.
Confirming the incident in a statement, Managing Director, Lagos State Waterways Authority (LASWA), Abisola Kamson, said the government attributed the mishap to overloading of passengers on a Banana Boat and operation of illegal jetty.
According to her, four victims of the mishap who were rescued are already receiving treatment at a nearby hospital, while search and rescue operation was still ongoing for other victims.
While commiserating with the families of those that lost their loved ones, the government reiterated the need for the National Inland Waterways Authority (NIWA) to respect the recent verdict of the Court of Appeal, which upheld the powers of the State Government to control its intra-inland waterways.
“We sympathize with the families of the deceased as nine lives were lost in the mishap and four people are receiving treatment in the hospital. The LASWA rescue team has been activated and search is still ongoing. This brings to fore the need for NIWA to allow the judgment of the Appeal Court granting Lagos control of her waterways to take effect without hindrance.
“It is a matter of regret that ever since the judgment was pronounced, NIWA has ejected all State Water Guards monitoring standards from all federal-owned jetties. In spite of this, the state government takes the safety of its citizens on the waterways seriously and enjoins everyone to wear standard life jackets at all times on our waterways,” Kamson said.
Besides, the LASWA boss urged boat operators and other stakeholders in the inland waterways sector to adhere strictly to safety standards at all times.