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AbdulRahman AbdulRazaq, the Kwara State Governor and Chairman of Nigeria Governors’ Forum on Wednesday led a government delegation to Patigi to commiserate with families affected by the boat mishap, which claimed the lives of over 100 persons.

The governor, in his visit, also disclosed that the state government will give at least 1000 life jackets to the local government to prevent such a future tragic boat accident.

The Informant247 reports that no fewer than 106 persons, mostly from Patigi communities, have been confirmed killed while 144 survived the ugly accident, which occurred on Monday night.

AbdulRazaq, accompanied by Senator Sadiq Umar (Kwara North), House of Assembly member for Patigi State Constituency Hon. Muhammad Kareem, and Hon. Ahmed Adam Rufai, first headed to the palace of the Etsu Patigi who then joined the Governor to visit the riverine communities affected in the accident.

The Governor, in a statement released by his Chief Press Secretary, Rafiu Ajakaye, said “It is a sad event. We commiserate with our people in Patigi Emirate, including the Etsu Patigi Alhaji Ibrahim Umar Bologi II. We are deeply saddened by the event,” AbdulRazaq told reporters on the sideline of his visit to Kpada and Duro, the headquarters of Ebu and Dzakan settlements whose residents died in the incident.

“Measures will be taken as we are having discussions with Nigeria Inland Waterway Authority (NIWA) on the enforcement of safety codes. We will also be sending a team to Lagos State on how their waterways law works.

“Our immediate step is to deliver at least 1000 life jackets to support safe travels on the water in the area.

“In addition to whatever safety measures that are in place, the government will design and roll out some statewide standard operating procedures (SOPs) for water travels to cover issues of boat serviceability, speed limits, loading limits, and wearing of life jackets by all passengers. This will be the new irreducible minimum.”

The government will also send to the parliament a proposed legislation that imposes punishments and fines for violations of the safety protocol, AbdulRazaq added.

“The government will also set up a body that oversees water transportation in the state. This body will complement the regulatory oversights of the National Inland Water Authority (NIWA) which has the statutory responsibility to enforce safety codes on jetties, loading points, boats, canoes, barges, and life vests, among others,” according to a state government’s statement released after the visit.

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