Kwara State Governor AbdulRahman AbdulRazaq on Wednesday led a government delegation to Patigi to commiserate with families affected in the Monday night boat mishap, in which dozens have been confirmed dead.
At least 106 persons, mostly from Patigi communities, have been confirmed killed while 144 survived in the accident, according to local authorities.
Accompanied by Senator Sadiq Umar and Hon. Ahmed Adam Rufai, AbdulRazaq first headed to the palace of the Etsu Patigi who then joined the Governor to visit the riverine communities affected in the accident.
“It is a sad event. We commiserate with our people in Patigi Emirate, including the Etsu Patigi Alhaji Ibrahim Umar Bologi II. We are deeply saddened by the event,” AbdulRazaq told reporters on the sideline of his visit to Kpada and Duro, the headquarters of Ebu and Dzakan settlements whose residents died in the incident.
“Measures will be taken as we are having discussions with Nigeria Inland Waterway Authority (NIWA) on enforcement of safety codes. We will also be sending a team to Lagos State on how their waterways law works.
“Our immediate step is to deliver at least 1000 life jackets to support safe travels on water in the area.
“In addition to whatever safety measures that are in place, the government will design and roll out some statewide standard operating procedures (SOPs) for water travels to cover issues of boat serviceability, speed limits, loading limits and wearing of life jackets by all passengers. This will be the new irreducible minimum.”
The government will also send to the parliament a proposed legislation that imposes punishments and fines for violations of the safety protocol, according to a state government’s statement released after the visit.
“The government will also set up a body that oversees water transportation in the state. This body will complement the regulatory oversights of the National Inland Water Authority (NIWA) which has the statutory responsibility to enforce safety codes on jetties, loading points, boats, canoes, barges, life vests, among others.” OYO NEWS