Thursday, August 6, 2020

Neglect of Badagry expressway caused boat mishap, says Lagos lawmaker

Neglect of Badagry expressway caused boat mishap, says Lagos lawmaker
August 01
22:14 2020

Setonji David, lawmaker representing Badagry constituency II in the Lagos house of assembly, has blamed the recent drowning of persons on the collapse of Lagos-Badagry expressway.

At least 10 persons died, while four others have gone missing, after a boat en route Badagry capsized at Kirikiri, Lagos, on Wednesday, NAN reported.

Speaking to NAN on Saturday, David said the total collapse of Badagry road forced the victims to undertake the journey by water.

In 2018, the federal executive council (FEC) had approved the contract for the rehabilitation of the Lagos-Badagry expressway, while the section from Eric Moore to Okokomaiko was expected to be handled by the state government.

“FEC today approved a contract for the rehabilitation of the Lagos-Badagry Expressway, specifically the 46km Section from Agbara-Badagry-Seme Border. (The repair of the section from Eric Moore to Okokomaiko is being carried out by the Lagos State Govt),” a tweet on October 24, 2018 read.

However, according to the lawmaker, the road has been neglected which has led to people seeking alternative routes by using the waterways.

“I am devastated by the pictures of the victims of the boat mishap that happened between Lagos and Badagry. Our people are looking for alternative means of transportation due to the total collapse and neglect of the Badagry expressway,” he said.

“We have made repeated calls for completion of work on this very important access road to Badagry. We have suffered greatly and are still suffering. Governance should be about welfare and safety of the people.

“I am pleading and begging government to urgently intervene to make the road safer for people. The road is in shambles and total mess at the moment; that is why our people resort to water transport most times.”

Confirming the Wednesday incident, Oluwadamilola Emmanuel, general manager of LASWA, said the boat, which was carrying 19 passengers, capsized at about 6pm.

“A survivor’s account states that the boat captain got distracted trying to collect fares from a passenger and the boat was overturned by the current and most passengers were yet to put on their life jackets properly,” he said.

“Rescue effort was immediate as the boat was just a few metres from the landing in which they left from but only five people were rescued.

“A total of 19 persons were involved in the incident. Five were rescued with 10 persons confirmed dead and four still unaccounted for including the boat’s deckhand.

“LASWA has apprehended the boat captain and handed him over to the marine police for further investigations and sanctions.”

Emmanuel added that the emergency and regulatory authorities were still on a search-and-rescue operation, just as the authority has stepped up enforcement of rules and regulations on ferry operators.


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