By Francis Efe, Warri
The National Inland Waterways Authority (NIWA) on Monday organized a 5-day training programme for boat drivers in Warri South Local Government Area of Delta State.
The training, according to the Managing Director, NIWA, Dr George Moghalu, would provide boat drivers experiences on inland navigation, boat preparation, handling heavy weather amongst others.
Moghalu said the training programme for the boat drivers was done in collaboration with LUFREDHA Academy.
Muoghalu who was represented by the Warri Area Manager, Engr. Mohammed Dangana said, “This 5-Day programme is open to all eligible power boaters, crew boat, cruising and racing skippers as well as commercial fishermen.
“The training is structured to be conducted by experienced captains of marine industries, all experts in their field to provide novice and experienced boat operators with information and skills required to prepare for inland navigation, boat preparation, handling heavy weather etc.”
The Unit Head of the Marine Department in NIWA, Engr. Ipimoroti Adeleye vowed that NIWA will flush out quack boat drivers from its waterways in Delta State.
He said the measures was being taken to ensure the safety of lives and properties as well as reduce water/ river accidents in our waterways,
Adeleye said quack boat drivers will not be allowed on the waterways again.
Mr Innocent Ohwotuemuhor, a trainer with Lufredha Academy said the boat drivers would have to avoid alcohol and drugs (controllable & uncontrollable) if they must drive.
Ohwotuemuhor also advised the boat drivers to ensure that their passengers always wear life jackets before entering the boats for any trip bearing in mind all safety rules applicable to NIWA.
He said the boat drivers should always move with their communication gadgets whenever they embark on any journeys especially during critical times as well as know the weather condition before doing the same.
The Chairman of the event, Barr. Sonny Sidadi-Kadiri, appreciated NIWA and Lufredha Academy for the training and retraining of boat drivers to maintain an acceptable safety standard obtainable anywhere in the world.
“It is to ensure that the basic requirements for the safety of life and property, along the waterways, are not compromised. We look forward to the water demonstration or drill which will include quick stop; man overboard recoveries and flare procedures. These demonstrations, though entertaining, are for the safety of lives.”
The Chief Executive Officer of Lufredha Academy, Tonlagha Rosemary, said the training for the boat drivers will help greatly in reducing accidents in the waterways.