Boat Mishaps: Review NIWA Act, allow states control waterways – Activist tells NASS


Following the recent boat accidents that claimed the lives of Nigerians, a human rights activist, Yakubu Eleto has called on the National Assembly to review the Act establishing the National Inland Waterways Authority, NIWA in a bid to allow states to control their inland waterways.

Eleto, who made the call in a statement on Tuesday, described as unfortunate the boat mishaps, which according to him, claimed over a hundred lives every month.

He claimed that the incidents were recorded following the failure of NIWA to efficiently regulate and control the activities of boat operators and enforce safety standards across the country.

Eleto cited the report of a recent accident that occurred on January 15, 2024, when a boat conveying about 100 people in Niger State reportedly capsized.

The lawyer said despite the recent Supreme Court ruling giving NIWA exclusive control of the waterways in Nigeria, the Authority has failed woefully to be alive to its responsibility, which is a result of a capacity problem.


“It is unthinkable that two weeks into 2024, scores of Nigerians have been killed due to the negligence and incompetence of NIWA. It is more troubling because we are yet to enter the rainy season.

“If things are not quickly arrested, the casualties in the rainy season will be worse. But God forbid.

“The current National Assembly led by Senator Godswill Akpabio and Hon Tajudeen Abbas will save thousands of Nigerians from early graves by reviewing the NIWA Act in line with the provisions on the concurrent legislative list which gives the federal and state governments shared regulatory authority over areas like the waterways”, the statement added.

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