The Lagos State Waterways Authority says preliminary investigation revealed that the boat accident in Ikorodu, which killed five persons, was caused by a damaged steering cable.
It explained that the steering cable connected to the engine propeller cut off on motion, leading to a mechanical fault and making the captain to lose control.
A statement signed by the Managing Director of LASWA, Mrs Abisola Kamson, added that aside the mechanical fault, the captain of the boat was “possibly also speeding”, adding that he was being questioned by the Marine Police.
Kamson added that the government had concluded plans to embark on an aggressive campaign and enforcement of guidelines for commercial boat operators to stem the tide of boat accidents in the state.
The LASWA boss said the new drive was in line with the commitment of Governor Akinwunmi Ambode “to ensure that water transportation, by all standards, remains the most efficient and cost effective mode of transportation”.
LASWA was said to have been notified that the accident involved a Bayeku Ferry Association commercial boat carrying 20 passengers and two crew members.
Kamson said she later led a delegation of state officials to visit the site of the incident, adding that all passengers on board were wearing life jackets. She said 17 persons were rescued alive.
She said, “The preliminary investigation by LASWA revealed that aside the mechanical fault that developed when the steering cable connected to the engine propeller cut, the captain of the boat was possibly also speeding. He is presently being questioned by the Marine Police.
“The Lagos State Government in its drive to promote a multi-modal transport system will under no circumstance compromise safety standards and the protection of lives and property.
“As such, we restate our commitment to the promotion of all safety measures and ensure that all operators comply with all safety standards in line with global best practices.
“On Wednesday, September 23, at Sabokoji Jetty in the Amuwo Odofin Local Government, LASWA commenced the distribution of 2,400 life jackets to students of riverine areas.”
She added that LASWA would soon convene a stakeholders’ meeting where all commercial and private boat owners would converge and dialogue on boat operation in the state.