The Lagos State Safety Commission has again exhibited its proactiveness by organising a waterways safety campaign to sensitise boat riders and passengers on boating safety with the theme: “Safe boating…it begins with you”.

Addressing boat riders and passengers today at the Elegbata- Ebute-Ero Jetty, the Director-General, Lagos State Safety Commission, Mr. Hakeem Dickson explained that Lagos State, being a Mega City with the influx of people from all parts of the world is responsive and responsible, therefore takes the safety of lives and properties seriously.

In his words, “this is why we have deemed it necessary to put together this very important event to create the awareness and sensitise the stakeholders on how they can ensure their safety”.

The Director-General said Governor Akinwunmi Ambode has continuously, through various infrastructural programmes and projects, exhibited his passion and commitment to a safe and secure Lagos where everyone can carry out their lawful business without fear.

Dickson said safety is all encompassing, adding that everyone must observe it in their everyday lives, most especially in the water transportation where passengers and riders are exposed to hazards which can be avoided if the necessary precautions are observed.

In her welcome address, the Permanent Secretary, Ministry of Special Duties and Inter-Governmental Relations, Mrs. Elizabeth Adekanye who was represented by the Director, Administration and Human Resources, Mr. Paul Oluwabiyi, said the aim of the forum is to expose all key players in the sector to the risks inherent in the business of water transportation.

She added that the campaign will serve as an avenue to introduce owners and operators to managing safety and setting the foundation for integrating health, safety and environment management in the transportation business.

Mrs Adekanye said, “boat owners and operators have a responsibility to identify potential hazards and ensure that any safety risk is removed or reduced to the barest minimum”.

She charged the riders to work towards attaining zero tolerance for unsafe acts at all jetties.

Stakeholders present at the safety sensitisation event included Lagos State Waterways Authority (LASWA), Lagos State Emergency Management Authority (LASEMA), Lagos State Fire Service as well as the Maritime Workers Union of Nigeria, Association of Tourist Boat Operators and Water Transporters of Nigeria.