Concerns over rise in maritime accident has prompted the National Inland Waterways Authority (NIWA), to commence industry wide engagement for insurance cover for operators.
The Authority confirmed current engagement with barge operators to have a comprehensive insurance cover for both barges and cargoes on Nigeria’s waterways.
NIWA said an improved quality insurance cover for vessels is a prime project it is fully committed to in its bids to decongesting the nation’s ports and reducing pressure on Nigerian roads.
According to NIWA Managing Director, George Moghalu, “We are looking at having quality insurance to cover both the barges and the cargoes. This was some of the issues raised by the importers, because they do not want a situation where they would gamble with their goods to bring their goods from China and Europe and then getting to lose it on the Nigerian waterways.”
Moghalu said 95 per cent of boat mishaps occur in the night or early hours of the morning, stressing that most of the boats involved in mishaps do not have night navigational aids.
“Ninety to ninety-five per cent accidents happen in the night or early in the morning, saying these vessels do not have night navigational aids so therefore they should not move in the night, but people will still go to move at nights.
They will avoid the right jetties and at times, they do not even move from jetties, but at river banks to the water to expose our people to dangers,” he said.