*Obaseki, Omatseye To Speak At 2019 MMS Transport Leadership Lecture
By Kenneth Jukpor
With all but three of the twenty-one passengers who were victims of the Ikorodu boat mishap now confirmed dead, MMS Plus reached out to one of the survivors to get an account of what actually transpired in the horrific experience.
According to our source, the boat which conveyed the passengers wasn’t a regular passenger boat as the boat operator was carrying dredging pipes from Badore to Egbin before the boat operator yielded to the plea of the stranded passengers at about 10pm.
Speaking on the condition of anonymity, the victim narrated; “The ten-passenger boat was already loaded with heavy dredging pipes when we pleaded with the boat man to carry us. He had no life-jackets because it wasn’t a regular passenger boat. Initially he was unwilling but he later agreed and carried all of us in the small boat. As soon as we sailed, we noticed that water was coming into the boat from the front so we all moved to the back.
“The boat tilted upward and we felt safe for the journey but we got into strong waves and the boat capsized. I was fortunate to have found an empty jerrycan with another man and we stayed on it while shouting for help. We also latched onto another passenger who was swimming expertly and the jerrycan kept us afloat for hours until we were found by some fishermen hours later. I don’t know how far away we had drifted or how long we were floating before we were found by fishermen, but it must have been for hours. I was barely conscious”, he said.
The incident occurred on Saturday June 29th in the Lagos Lagoon, between Badore in Ajah (Eti – Osa Local Government Area) and Egbin (Ikorodu L.G.A). The boat reportedly carried twenty one (21) persons including men and women who boarded an unmarked fibre boat W19 with 60HP engine.
While NIWA has come under scrutiny for perceived laxity as the allegedly closed jetties receive boats, the General Manager, NIWA Lagos Area Officer, Engr. Muazu Sambo has refuted such claims maintaining that the operation was carried out at 10pm.
A visit to the Badore jetty by MMS Plus, gives credibility to Sambo’s argument that the Badore jetty was an open place, as the jetty had a seal by NIWA with an inscription: “This premises had been sealed in contravention of the NIWA Act Cap N47 LFN 2004”
Sambo refused to rule out the possibility that the operators of the Badore jetty haven’t been operating it as he stressed that the boat operator’s actions to move at 10pm at night showed that he was aware of the closure and may have acted without authority from the jetty operators.
While he confirmed that all the bodies of the victims have been accounted for, he revealed that investigations also show that the capsized boat was scheduled for repairs on the following day.
As part of efforts to prevent similar perilous incidents in future, the Lagos Area Office manager disclosed that the Authority had concluded plans to clamp down of sub-standard jetties as well as all jetties in Lagos notorious for operating beyond the 7pm deadline.
“We have just entered into partnership with the Association of Tourist Boat Operators and Water Transport of Nigeria (ATBOWATON). We are going to set up Beach Marshalls. These officers will be stationed at all jetties in Lagos to enforce NIWA standards, prioritize safety. They would be kitted and properly trained for this purpose” Sambo said.
Speaking to MMS Plus on the incident, the Chairman, United Waterways Passengers Association (UWPA) Mr. Pius Agbude admonished boat users to desist from the act of boarding boats without life jackets whilst he also urged Lagosians to avoid overcrowded boats and report such operators to NIWA.
Agbude lamented that it was unfortunate and regrettable that Nigeria refuse to learn from the previous mistakes of boat mishaps.
Obaseki, Omatseye To Speak At 2019 MMS Transport Leadership Lecture
The Governor of Edo State, Mr. Godwin Obaseki and the former President of African Ship-owners Association, Barr. Temisan Omatseye would lead a rich delegation of transport veterans to the 2019 Kings Transport Leadership Lecture and Awards.
While Obaseki would feature as the Chief Guest of Honour at the occasion, Omatseye would chair the event as the Secretary-General to the Abuja MOU on Port State Control , Barr. Mfon Usoro delivers the lead paper on the theme; “Leadership In A ‘Next Level’ Democracy: Striking A Positive Balance In Transport Sector”
The upcoming Transport Leadership Lecture and Awards organized by Kings Communications Limited, publishers of MMS Plus newspaper, is scheduled for Tuesday, July 30th, 2019 at the Golden Gate Restaurant, Ikoyi, Lagos.
The event would feature double panel sessions as experts will dissect “Optimizing Digitalization and Connectivity in Transport Sector” to upscale leadership performance for improved contribution of the transport sector to the growth of the nation’s gross domestic product (GDP).
All heads of parastatals in the transport sector have been invited as Special Guests of Honour, including the likes of the Director General of Nigerian Maritime Administration and Safety Agency (NIMASA) Dr. Dakuku Peterside, Managing Director of Nigerian Ports Authority (NPA) Ms. Hadiza Bala-Usman, Executive Secretary of Nigerian Shippers’ Council (NSC) Mr. Hassan Bello, Managing Director, National Inland Waterways Authority (NIWA) Senator Olorunnimbe Mamora, Managing Director of Federal Airport Authority of Nigeria(FAAN), Mr. Rabiu Yadudu; the Commissioner, Accident Investigation Bureau(AIB),Engr. Akin Olateru, among others.
The two panel sessions would be moderated by the Chairman, Ports Consultative Forum, Otunba Kunle Folarin, and the former Director General of National Maritime Authority (NMA) Mr. John Egesi; the panelists include: Barr. (Mrs.) Margaret Orakwusi, Chairman, Ship Owners’ Forum; Dr. Mkgeorge Onyung, President, Ship-Owners Association of Nigeria (SOAN), Mr. Paul Ndibe, Director-General, Chartered Institute of Logistics and Transport (CILT) Nigeria.
Others are: Chief Cajetan Agu, Director, Consumer Affairs, Nigerian Shippers’ Council; Mr. Chris Aligbe, CEO, Belujane Konzult; Captain John Ojikutu, Chief Executive of Centurion Security & Secretary General, Aviation Safety Roundtable Initiative (ASRTI); Engr. Sambo Muazu, General Manager, Lagos Area Office, National Inland Waterways Authority (NIWA)
Princess Vicky Haastrup, Executive Vice Chairman, ENL Consortium; Prince Olayiwola Shittu, Former President, Association of Nigeria Licensed Customs Agents (ANLCA); Mrs. Folake Soji-George, Co-Director, Al-Hadiat Nigeria Limited; Dr. Obiora Madu, Director-General, African Centre for Supply Chain (ACSC); Mr. Charles Akhigbe, Chairman, Implementation Committee for Edo Inland Container Depot and Mr. Muda Yusuf, Director General, Lagos Chamber of Commerce and Industry (LCCI).
The forum will also feature the awards for winners of the 2018 Quarterly Transport Agency Performance Rating. The winners emerged after a thorough rating of the performances of all transport sector agencies and institutions with regards to their core functions in 2018 to ascertain the Most Purposeful Transport Agency of the Year 2018. This rating was carried out quarterly in 2018 and conducted by Kings Communications Limited.
Justifying the need for the Lecture at this time of the industry history, the leader of the organizing team, Mrs. Ifeoma Iloh, said, “The leadership of maritime industry and the transport sector agencies have not paid optimum attention to addressing the core functions of the organizations”.
She stressed that the event which would witness a robust discourse on the place of digitalization and connectivity across all modes of transport in the country, would spur purposeful leadership across the transport sector and lead to immense benefits of transportation to the nation’s economy.
According to her, the lecture seeks to address the leadership content of the problems, which is the key to other problems.
“Simply put, the character or leadership qualities of a leader to a large extent determine the direction of an agency. We are calling on Nigerians and transport sector operators in particular to join the campaign for good leadership in the sector, especially against the prevailing practice of having square pegs on round roles with the concomitant consequences of vision derailment, looting of funds, human and material resources under-utilization, among others” she said.
It is expected that the outcome of the brain-storming sessions at the event would be a compass for the government’s future leadership choices in the industry and the expectations of the leaders as well as how the people can hold them accountable by measuring their performances with the actual functions of their organizations.