The wife of the Lagos State Governor, Mrs Bolanle Ambode, has advised boat operators in the state to observe safety standards in their operations to avoid accidents and needless loss of lives.
Ambode gave the advice in Epe on Wednesday at the distribution of about 700 life jackets to select schools in Epe Local Government Area of the state.
The life jackets were distributed by the Lagos State Waterways Authority (LASWA) in partnership with Total Nigeria Limited.
She said that safety was too important to be compromised in any human activity and urged the operators to streamline their operations according to international best practice.
“There had been unpleasant incidents of boat mishaps in the past, some involving school pupils commuting across the lagoon to their various schools.
“Users of water transportation face the uncertainty of safe arrival every day in the state.
“These circumstances have informed the great initiative of LASWA and Total Nigeria Limited, in donating life jackets for the use of some pupils schooling around Epe area council,” she said.
She said government had continuously introduced measures to improve water transportation in the state, including the construction of modern jetties for riverside communities and enforcement of safety rules among boat operators.
Ambode, who called for strict enforcement of “No life jackets, no water travel” campaign, urged boat operators to shun overloading, night travels and boat cruising by untrained persons.
She explained that safety on waterways must be collectively enforced to guard against mishaps.
The governor’s wife also called on parents, teachers, schools management and regulatory authorities to step up safety advocacy among users of water transportation in the state.
Earlier, the Managing Director of LASWA, Mrs Abisola Kamson, said that the initiative was part of the resolve of the state government to safe guard the waterways.
She said that every child or adult embarking on water journey must make use of life jacket.
In his address, Executive Secretary of Epe Local Government, Mr Ahmed Seriki, urged residents to be safety conscious and to always call the toll free numbers, 767 and 112, in case of an emergency.
Highlights of the programme was a demonstration of the administration of Cardio Pulmonary Resuscitation (CPR) to adults and children.
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