By Cliffsimeon Akalonu
The Association of Tourists Boat Operators and Water Transporters of Nigeria (ATBOWATON), has called on federal and state governments including stakeholders and individuals in the maritime subsector to assist the association in sustaining safety on the waterways.
The association in a communiqué said it wants to raise 10 million life jackets which will be distributed nationwide, thereby calling on all stakeholders, Federal and state governments to support in the drive to make sure that the safety of lives and properties on the waterways is guaranteed.
The President of ATBOWATON, Engr. Ganiyu Balogun Tarzan, made this appeal recently in Abuja, during the Federation Of Tourism Associations Of Nigeria (FTAN) Annual General Meeting.
Tarzan who on behalf of his members asked for government incentives and grants via mass transit boats, building of new jetties nationwide, give free tax on imported engines for commercial boats and floating of fuel filling stations etc.
He also urged both federal and state governments to unite resources to stop multiple taxation, asked for the establishment of Federal Ministry of Maritime Services for adequate funding of our waterways.
While still appealing for assistance, he commended President Muhammadu Buhari administration for launching the Blue Water Project.
During his speech at the FTAN annual general meeting, he called on his members and boat owners from all the riverine states, to embrace unity.
Balogun Tarzan, also implore all boat operators to give priority to safety of lives and properties of water users.
“Wearing of life jackets, avoid overloading and night travelling, make sure your boats are in serviceable condition before embarking on a journey”, Tarzan warned.