By Steve Agbota
The National Inland Waterways Authority (NIWA) on Friday commenced the removal of wrecks from three major axis of inland waterways in Lagos, namely Ibeshe, Owode and Ijora axis.
Speaking with newsmen in her office after inspecting the removal sites on Friday, the Lagos Area Manager of NIWA, Engineer Sarat Braimah explained that Kirikiri to Badagry axis has been left out because the Nigerian Maritime Administration and Safety Agency (NIMASA) is already handling that section.
“We have identified human error and wrecks as the two major reasons why we keep having boat mishaps in Lagos. That was why we started the training of boat skippers. The training was aimed at addressing the issue of human error leading to boat mishaps on our waterways.
“Now, to address wreck menace, we decided to commence the removal of wrecks in three locations along the Lagos waterways. We are starting today with Ijora. By next week, we will move to Owode and Ibeshe axis to remove wrecks so that waterways users will move freely on the waterways in Lagos.
“We have done survey analysis of what the wrecks look like and the reports have long been submitted. So the wreck removal is commencing today and will last for the next three months.
“From the survey analysis report, we have abandoned dredgers and old ferries underneath the water and constituting wrecks for waterways users. One of the wrecks underneath the water is a 100 passenger capacity ferry. So, you can see that survey analysis have already revealed to us what we are expected to remove, and the removal process will commence today,” she said.
On the wrecks along Badagry, she hinted that the agency is leaving that area out because NIMASA is already attending to it.
“We were supposed to start from the Badagry area but as you all know, NIMASA has been given the approval to remove wrecks from Kirikiri to Badagry. That is why we are focusing on other areas of the Lagos Inland waterways.
“The Badagry area is close to the routes where ocean going vessels pass through when coming to our ports, that was why it was agreed that NIMASA should handle that area,” she said.