Nigerian maritime authorities launch crackdown on uncertified boat skippers

Following a series of recent fatal boat mishaps on the country’s inland waterways, Director-General of the Nigerian Maritime Administration and Safety Agency (NIMASA), Dr Bashir Jamoh, has said the agency would enforce stricter sanctions against untrained and uncertified boat skippers, who often ignore safety procedures and endanger the lives of passengers.

The director-general also suggested the development of cohesive safety enforcement guidelines and regulations for implementation across the littoral states.

Dr Jamoh added that the harmonisation of standards and procedures for safety in the territorial waters would go a long way in minimising unsafe practices by operators of non-conventional vessels, which are not subject to international standards, but rely mainly on national regulations.

The director-general has also urged greater supervision of officers engaged in the enforcement of safety standards.
NIMASA is working on the new set of guidelines with the cooperation of the Lagos State Waterways Authority (LASWA). The two agencies will also implement intensified information-sharing as part of efforts towards improving collaboration in the area of maritime safety.

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