As part of efforts to enhance waterways transportation in Lagos, the National Inland Waterways Authority (NIWA) is set to license boat operators and build capacity for boat captains operating on the Lagos waterways.
This was disclosed by the General Manager, Marine Operations, NIWA, Engr. Joseph Ororo at a stakeholders meeting between the agency and boat operators in Lagos today.
Ororo noted that the training will be compulsory for the operators, even as he noted that participants at the end of the schooling would be licensed by the agency as certified captains.
According to him, NIWA with the collaborative support from accredited institutions; will design a curriculum for training of the skippers.
He said the training will be extended to executive boat operators and categorised into the three phases, which will include practical and theoretical methodology.
According to the General Manager, the move was necessitated against the backdrop of the poor educational background of the skippers and captains in brown waters operations.
“This training of our boat operators is long overdue. We have started it in Bayelsa, Delta and Rivers states but Lagos is the centre of excellence,” he said.
Earlier, the Lagos Area Manager NIWA, Engr. Sarat Braimah said that the training was centred prerequisites for licensing boat operators.
According to her, the certification to be obtained at the end of the training, would last for three years.
“Our boat captains will be formally licensed by NIWA. We want them to be known in their operations. We want to hold them accountable for whatever they do with respect to their activities on the waterways,” Braimah explained.
Meanwhile, she told the gathering that awareness on the blue waters alongside the potentials were positioned for economic sustainability but the brown waters has what it takes to also complement the blue economy.
She noted that the stakeholders in brown waters operation have what it takes to move the sub sector to an enviable level, pointing out that boat mishaps in recent times can be attributed to carelessness and other human errors.
She added that the training programme will be devoid of language barriers as all types of dialects will complement the capacity building project.
The stakeholders meeting had in attendance members of ATBOWATON, MWUN, officials from LAGFERRY, and the service providers in the waterways transportation ecology.