National Inland Waterways Authority (NIWA) Lagos Area Office has issued fresh guidelines for a better-controlled inland waterways transportation and jetty operations regime.
The Area Manager, Mrs Sarat Braimah highlighted this on Sunday in a statement, in Lagos, adding that the new guidelines were in tandem with the directive of the Presidential Task force on COVID-19, to allow a gradual and controlled easing of the lockdown as announced by the President on March 27.
The following guidelines, according to NIWA, would take effect from May 4:
“Movement of Boats/Ferries will be between the hours of 6:30 am and 5:30 pm. No passenger boat is expected on the waterways after 5:30 pm in the evening.
“The loading capacity of all Boats and Ferries shall be at 60 per cent capacity until further notice, that is, a 20 passenger boat will be reduced to 12 passengers only.
“All passengers shall put on a face-mask before embarkment and throughout the duration of travel.
“Boat operators shall make alcohol-based sanitizers available at the entrance of their boat. The use of sanitizers is mandatory before the embarkment and disembarkment of passengers.
“Operators are to make available decent lifejackets as we move towards actualizing optimal hygiene and passengers are urged if necessary to provide and use their personal Life Jackets”.
She said that commercial boat operations shall remain suspended during weekends till further notice, while there would be temperature checks at various jetties and terminals.
“Jetties/Terminals are not allowed to accommodate and congregate more than 20 passengers at a time, this is in line with the enforcement of social distancing.
“Passengers are expected to board immediately on arrival at the jetties.
“In the event of any suspected case of COVID-19 please call the Authority or 08000CORONA,” she added.
Braimah said that in order to ameliorate the cost of operations for commercial boat operators, the authority had directed all jetty operators to charge fifty percent of applicable jetty fees.
She said that government jetties remain free of charge till further notice.