Home Maritime WABOTAN Embarks On Capacity Building Programme For Members

WABOTAN Embarks On Capacity Building Programme For Members

...As NIMASA,NIWA,LASWA,MWUN Lauds Initiative

Determined to give members the requisite knowledge on waterways operations,the Waterfront Boat Owners and Transporters Association of Nigeria (WABOTAN) has embarked on capacity building programme in furtherance to ensure professionalism in safety of lives and properties for passengers.

The manpower development programme held in Apapa Local Government Area Secretariat, Lagos State, with theme boat/ferry crew capacity development for safer inland waterways transportation”, had in attendance players from private and public sector stakeholders.

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Some of the training courses for members include fire fighting techniques, the role of insurance in waterways transportation , embarking and disembarking of passengers etc.

At least no fewer than 120 boat operators and ferry service providers participated in the training programme with  certificates issued to them at the end of the programme.

Speaking at a one-day training programme , Head of Marine Operations, National Inland Waterways Authority (NIWA) Engr. Elsie Egwuatu, (NIWA),stated that most accidents that occur on the waterways werr mostly caused by human error, hence the need for up-skilling.

Cross section of participants at the training programme put together by WABOTAN on Saturday in Lagos

She called on members of the association to embark on training and retraining in furtherance to ensuring a free and safer waterways transportation.

She noted that the training would improve the boat operators level of adherence to the rules and regulations.

Egwuatu stressed that:”WABOTAN just came on board and I must say that they hit the ground running, their efforts to impact on the society is commendable.

“NIWA is always desirous of keeping the waterways accident free, we are ready to collaborate with anybody or association that is keeping in to this endeavours as safety is everybody’s business both regulators, operators and the passengers,” she said.

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Continuingly, she added that:“If we don’t train them, don’t blame them because if they don’t know what is expected of them, there is no way they can adhere to the safety rules and regulations on the waterways.

Egwuatu urged other associations in the inland waterways transportation sub sector to embrace  initiatives that would impact on the society pointing that most of the accidents that happen on our waterways is caused by human errors.

“If we can catch operators for them to know what is expected of them on the waterways, we will be able to achieve the safety we are clamouring for,” she said.

Also speaking, Mr Ifeanyi Patrick Ike, Assistant Director, District Surveyor, Nigerian Maritime Administration and Safety Agency (NIMASA), said that the programme was supposed to address some greater problem of mishap on the country’s waterways.

Group photograph involving members of WABOTAN and MWUN during the training programme on Saturday in Lagos

“Unfortunately, when we that are suppose to come and enlighten the operators to imbibe the safety culture in them are called we don’t attend, at the end of the day we blame some of these mishaps on negligence, incompetence.

 

“We that have the key and suppose to do something on this are not doing so, what do we expect, the rate of the mishap will still continue.

 

“I give WABOTAN kudos for organising this and charge them not to relent, they should include all agencies and stakeholders the next time they are hosting the training to ensure safety on the waterways,” he said.

 

While calling on the operators to obey the rules of engagement, General Manager of Lagos State Waterways Authority (LASWA) Mr Oluwadamilola Emmanuel affirmed that“For us, anything that would develop the inland waterways, we are always happy about it and we would always support such initiative. We are very delighted and that is why we are here in full force to support this training.

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“This training would help prevent possible incidents in the waterways and equip the operators with the necessary skills and knowledge they should have about navigation of the inland waterways.

He noted that “When WABOTAN was starting operation, I told them that they need to ensure that they put their money where their mouth is, ensure that they do all they have said they will do.

“It gives me great joy that it has not been up to two months and they are doing this initiative,” he said.

Emmanuel also commended the President of WABOTAN, Comrade Babatope Fajemirokun and his entire executives for the training initiatives.

Engr. Elsie Egwuatu,Head Marine,NIWA presenting the certificate to a participant during the training programme held in Lagos on Saturday as put together by WABOTAN

Also speaking, Comrade Sunday Avoseh, President, Seaman’s, NIWA and Water Transport, Branch, Maritime Workers Union of Nigeria (MWUN) expressed satisfaction over the training initiative put together by the association, saying there was nothing as dangerous as working with an untrained worker,

 

Apparently satisfied, he  applauded the association for the training, urging stakeholders in the water transportation business to support WABOTAN project.

 

According to him, “This is a welcomed development and it has to be encouraged by all stakeholders. The reason is that if the boat operators are well trained, the boat owners would be at rest because he know that his investment would not go into the drain overnight, the passengers would also be at rest because they know they are in a safer hands, the boat operator himself would be at rest because of the knowledge he has gotten.

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The branch President reassured that the MWUN has volunteered to sponsor the next round of training program which would be held by WABOTAN.

 

Avoseh stated that“What WABOTAN is doing is a good thing, it is the right step in the right direction and every meaningful stakeholder must encourage it” he said

 

 

“We all witness what happens on our waterways, accidents and so curbing this is what we are doing today by this training,” he said.

Similarly,President of WABOTAN, Comrade Tope Fajemirokun, said that the exercise was necessary because of the usual rush of the ember months in water transportation and the attendant mishaps.

“We are in the ember months now, and it is believed in some quarters that accidents usually increase in December but we don’t pray for it to happen.

“So, we want to create safety awareness for our members and place them on high alert,” he said.

 

Caption:

R-L: President of Seamen and Water Transport Branch of Maritime Workers Union of Nigeria (MWUN) Comrade Sunday Avoseh, National President of Waterfront Boat Owners and Transporters Association of Nigeria (WABOTAN) , Comrade Babatope Fajemirokun, Eng Elsie Egwuatu, Head of Marine Operations of National Inland Waterways Authority (NIWA) and Mr Patrick Ike, the Assistant Director, District Surveyor, Nigerian Maritime Administration and Safety Agency (NIMASA) at a training program organized by WABOTAN for boat operators in Lagos on Saturday.

 

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