The Niger state Government hereby expresses heartfelt grief over the unfortunate incident of Sunday morning in Zumba where a boat carrying 30 people capsized, causing the death of 12 people mostly women, whose dead bodies were all recovered as at the time of writing this report, while 18 people survived the deadly incident.
The Chief of Staff to the Governor, Hon. Mikail Al-Amin Bmitosahi who visited the Emir of Zumba to express condolences on behalf of the Governor, beseeched God to grant affected families the fortitude to bear the irreparable loss of dear ones.
He was equally at the scene for on-the-spot assessments and to express assurances that Government would soon put up a legislation to regulate the activities of boat operators on waterways in the state.
He complained about the negligence of the past administrations regarding the failure to give necessary attention to waterways movement.
According to him, such ugly situations could be avoided only if necessary legislations were in place to curtail excesses of users of waterways.
The COS also said discussions had begun with the commissioner of justice who had received directives to draft a legislation to the state legislature into setting up an agency to regulate the use and users of waterways in the state, just as federal road safety does for land movement.
While assuring families of the deceased Government’s financial and moral support to offset minimal commitments at these trying times, the COS clarified that efforts would be made to set up a committee to undertake a task of modernising and upgrading the business of ferry and boat operations on the state’s waterways.�
The move, according to him, would see to the construction and introduction of new and bigger boats and canoes that would be more safety compliant, in such a way as to revolutionise waterways operations even while boosting commercial activities across the state.