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The Lagos State Waterways Authority (LASWA) has advised all commercial boat operators and waterways users to strictly adhere to new guidelines for the water transportation sector in the State.

A statement issued at the weekend by the General Manager (LASWA), Mr. Oluwadamilola Emmanuel, noted that the new guidelines are aimed at preventing the spread and transmission of the Coronavirus disease in the State.

He said the Agency had consulted and communicated with all stakeholders, including Terminal Operators, the Leadership of Association of Tourist Boat and Water Transport of Nigeria (ATBOWATON), LAGFERRY and other Private Boat Operators, to further enlighten their members and staff on the proactive safety measures put in place by the State Government towards the gradual easing of the COVID-19 lockdown.

The General Manager reiterated that no ferry would be allowed to operate except those that comply strictly with all precautionary measures such as disinfection of ferry before embarking on any trip, loading of not more than 60% of boat capacity, provision of hand sanitisers and wearing of facemasks by all waterways operators and users.

While stressing that terminal operators are also mandated to provide hand washing equipment with soap for the use of everyone coming into the terminal as well as ensuring that they also maintain the physical distancing rule within their premises, Emmanuel warned that the Agency will not hesitate to sanction any operator that disobeys the government directive which will be effective from Monday, 4th of May, 2020. 

He said, “Our Water Guards would be on standby at every jetty and terminal to ensure compliance, while the LASWA Monitoring Team and Marine Police will be on a regular patrol of the waterways to apprehend violators”.

Emmanuel, however, solicited the support of everyone in the effort to curb the spread of Coronavirus disease in Lagos State.

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