The Management of the National Inland Waterways Authority (NIWA) has expressed sadness over the boat mishap that claimed the lives of 103 passengers.
The incident was said to have occurred around 2:30am on Monday, June 12, 2023, along the Jebba Lake channel in the Lafiagi-Patigi Local Government Area of Kwara State.
NIWA in a statement signed by its General Manager, Corporate Affairs, Jibril Darda’u on Wednesday, condoled with the families of those that lost loved ones.
The Authority stated that it is particularly concerned with the huge number of casualties, adding that the accident was clearly an unfortunate and avoidable one.
The statement partly read: “Preliminary investigations through our Area Manager in Minna/Kwara Area Office revealed that the boat driver and wedding guests were on the ill-fated voyage about 2:30am, which speaks volumes about the disregard for the laws regulating Inland Waterways navigation.
“Furthermore, for a wooden boat to have allegedly been carrying more than 200 passengers at once without using life jackets and sailing in the night was certainly gross-overloading and misconduct”.
While it commiserated with the government and people of Kwara State, the Agency pointed out that it will investigate the “callous incident” and prosecute those found culpable, in line with extant laws and regulations.
“NIWA as an Authority will not fold its arms and allow reckless boat operators flaunting our safety guidelines and killing innocent commuters”, the statement added.