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