The Centre for Marine Surveyors of Nigeria has attributed the frequent boat accidents in the country to the failure of safety and regulatory agencies in the maritime sector.
The President of CMSN, Akin Olaniyan, stated this while reacting to the recent boat accident in Ilorin, Kwara State.
He said that the frequency of boat mishaps in the country was becoming worrisome.
Olaniyan urged President Bola Tinubu to mandate the management of government agencies and departments involved in maritime safety to either seat up or be shown the way out.
He claimed that the agencies were more focused on revenue generation than safety standards.
“Somebody must be held accountable because the victims of these accidents are the less privileged members of society. That does make their lives worthless. If it were an aviation accident, we would have been declaring a national day of mourning.
“The solution to the marine accident has always been at our fingertips. Safety and regulatory agencies have always paid lip service to the issues of safety because we always have square pegs in round holes. And until we change the narrative, we will always live with the same outcome.”
According to him, the country’s maritime safety agencies have changed to financial gatekeepers because of revenue generation, which has made them neglect the fundamental reason for their creation.
“The safer and cleaner the maritime environment is more profitable and investment friendly. Our waterways should be safe and secured to serve as a transportation conduit to move people and cargo around. Our boats and ferries should be locally but properly built and certified and seaworthy. And the businesses this will generate will be humongous,” he concluded.
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