Lagos State Government has said it will give priority to the safety of water transport to encourage the use of waterways by residents of the state.
The government added that such would improve the economy of the coastal areas and the state in general.
While speaking at the handing over of 2,400 life jackets by Total E&P Nigeria Ltd at the Lagos House, Ikeja, Governor Akinwumi said the state government was concerned by recent boat mishaps in the state, adding that relevant agencies must enforce the best safety standard to forestall a re-occurrence of such incidents.
The governor, who was represented by the Deputy Governor, Dr. Oluranti Adebule, said the state remained open to partner with corporate organisations and non-governmental organisations towards achieving safety, adding that he was pleased with the donation from Total E&P Nigeria.
He said, “Safety is everybody’s business and government is open to your support to ensure that lives and property are safe; we are indeed pleased by the support of Total to help secure the lives of our people that use the waterways to move from one point to another. Your donation is indeed a corporate social responsibility and we are grateful.”
Earlier, the Deputy Managing Director of Total, Charles Ngoka, said the donation of the life jackets was the company’s way of supporting the waterways safety initiative of the government.
He said, “We are also worried about the recent boat mishaps, especially as it affected children. It is only proper to donate life saving jackets for the use of the water transporters.”
Ngoka said the 2,400 jackets comprised 600 jackets for adults and 1,800 for children, urging the regulatory agency for water transport to enforce the use of life jackets by boat operators and their passengers.