The Director General of the Nigeria Maritime Administration and Safety Agency (NIMASA), Dr Bashir Jamoh, has expressed shock over the continued loss of lives on Nigeria waters.
The NIMASA DG was reacting to the Apapa boat mishap that occurred last Wednesday, stating that the tragedy was one too many.
Jamoh also promised to set up a joint safety standard and enforcement regime to safeguard lives on the waters in a tweet on Saturday.
The recent Apapa boat mishap is one too many. My condolences to families/loved ones of those who died. We need a Joint Safety Standards & Enforcement regime for our waters. No more delays. I have begun reaching out to state & non-state actors for actualizing this #Livesareatstake pic.twitter.com/vsV3o15xfU
— Bashir Jamoh, PhD (@JamohBashir) August 1, 2020
He said, “The recent Apapa boat mishap is one too many. My condolences to families/loved ones of those who died.
“We need a Joint Safety Standards and Enforcement regime for our waters. No more delays. I have begun reaching out to state and non-state actors for actualising this. Lives are at stake,” he wrote.
Nigerian Inland Waterways Authority preliminary report confirmed that 15 persons who boarded the 20-passenger boat known as Mount Zion died. Four persons were rescued while one person was still missing as of press time.
The statement from NIWA signed by Area Manager, Lagos Area Office, Sarat Braimah, said engine malfunction made the boat driver lose control of the steering to a very strong current that capsized the boat under a Ramp Barge.
According to the preliminary report, Mount Zion left Liverpool Jetty at 5 PM and picked other passengers at Kirikiri enroute Gbaji Yeke at 5:15 PM until the unfortunate incident happened 15 minutes later.
The report said that the loading point at Kirikiri had been temporarily suspended pending the outcome of the agency’s investigation.
A former IT student of NIMASA, Zainab Akintonwa, was involved in the unfortunate incident.
Spokesperson of NIMASA, Philip Kyanet, confirmed the young lady’s identity.
Kyanet said Late Akintonwa boarded the boat from Festac Town enroute Liverpool before the tragic incident occurred.
According to him, the boat was hit by a barge and regrettably she died in the mishap.