OrderPaperToday – To prevent future boat mishaps, the Senate has asked the National Inland Waterways Agency (NIWA) to ensure the mandatory usage of life jacket by passengers travelling across the river Niger, other rivers and oceans in the country.

The red chamber also mandated the Ministry of Power, Works and Housing to urgently intervene in the construction of the Lafiagi Niger state road and recommence the construction of Bagana/Toto Bridge in Kogi and Nasarawa states.

A minute a silence was observed in in honour of the departed children and send a delegation from the Senate to condole the people and government of Kwara State.

These prayers followed a motion moved by Senator Shaaba Lafiagi (PDP, Kwara) due to a boat accident that occurred on the 1st of December in Kwara state that led to the loss of life of 19 persons between the ages of 12 and 19.

According to him, the incident occurred due to the abandonment of the 46km road project linking Kwara and Niger States and lack of access road in the riverine community.

He urged the government to urgently intervene.

Reacting to this motion, Senator Atai Aidoko (PDP, Kogi) proposed the subsidization of life jackets while Senator Gbenga Ashafa (APC, Lagos) suggested that the highlighted bridge be included in the 2019 budget.

On Senator Samuel Egwu’s part, he blamed the state governments who have towns that allow the usage of boats as a means of travelling.

He said: “No amount is too much to improve the lives of citizens living in riverine areas. Using canoes in this century is unfortunate.”

The Presiding officer, Ike Ekweremadu in his remarks noted that nothing stops a state government from working on a road then ask for reimbursement from the federal government.

He indicated that state governments usually neglect hinterlands when doing infrastructural projects in cities.

Ekweremadu said: “We have the attitude of concentrating on cities not the hinter lands. We need to have an inclusive development. We should show concern to those not leaving within the cities.”


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