In light of the recent canoe accident in Bauchi and the attendant loss of lives, Dr. Bashir Jamoh, Director-General of the Nigerian Maritime Administration and Safety Agency has stressed the need for high safety awareness by all classes of operators along the nation’s inland water corridors. He emphasized NIMASA’s statutory responsibility for the safety of life while also ensuring maximum accountability on the part of all players as the designated regulator.
Jamoh has also directed NIMASA’s safety management and standards board to investigate the development by liaising with the Bauchi State Emergency Management Agency (SEMA). According to Jamoh, “The agency will continue to ensure that users of the waterways are constantly educated on safety standards and environmental issues surrounding the navigation of our waters in order to protect lives and properties during transit.”
He also noted that while NIMASA in keeping with its safety function is currently taking various proactive measures towards safeguarding pilotage within the inland waters, the agency is also, in view of the increasing spate of boat mishaps, considering the possibility of reopening its Lokoja office to monitor safety compliance of small vessels and crafts that are trading within our inland waterways. This he said would ensure NIMASA’s proximity to all boat operations and expanded presence in line with her mandate as the nation’s maritime domain regulator.