…as British Deputy High Commission trains NDLEA officers By Gabriel Olawale

The Lagos State Area Manager of National Inland Waterways Authority, NIWA, Engr. Sarat Braimah, weekend, said that lack of proper training by skippers is responsible for the majority of boat mishaps in the country.

Speaking during the presentation of certificates and NIWA Approved National Skipper License to the Officers of the National Drug Law Enforcement Agency, NDLEA (Marine Command), Braimah said that some of the skippers are of the view that the moment they can drive boats, then the inland waterways are open to them.

The Advanced Maritime Competency Training was carried out by Metropolitan Waterways Concepts Limited with support from the British Deputy High Commission, Lagos.

Braimah hinted that most of the skippers claimed to be born and grew up on waterways or that their father was a boat skipper and that they acquired knowledge from him.

Braimah said: “They don’t know that it goes beyond that. It is like driving a car. There are rules and regulations on the road that need to be followed.

“We have a lot of associations whose skippers were not trained and it is causing a lot of menace in our country. It’s a problem for the authorities because most of our boat mishaps are caused by human error. When I say human error, I mean that most of our skippers are not well trained.

“They can only drive a boat but don’t know the signs and what it takes to be on Inland Waterways. We are pleased to have the support of the British Deputy High Commission in training the NDLEA officers. We will be glad if you could extend the training to other groups.”

On his part, President of Metropolitan Waterways Concepts Limited, Engr. Onikoyi Lateef Adio, said that the Officers of NDLEA presented with the certificate have successfully undergone Advanced Maritime Competency Training.

Adio said: “I have no doubt that the Officers who attended the courses have gained a lot and their competency in boat handling has increased. We are very pleased with the support from the British Deputy High Commission for the great opportunity given to the officers of the NDLEA by sponsoring the training.”

Representative of the British Deputy High Commission, Lagos, Marie Maxwell said that the training was part of the Commission’s contribution towards the war against drugs in Nigeria by NDLEA.

Maxwell said: “We are happy to support NDLEA in the war against drugs. This training is part of our contribution towards developing their maritime capability to protect Nigeria from the threat of organized drug crime.

“In doing so, we are supporting the capacity building of seaport, land port and Airport. We are very pleased with the huge success recorded by the NDLEA in the war against drugs. This particular training is part of the three-year programme of activities to develop detection and control capability to reduce the drug threat within Nigeria’s territorial waters. I look forward to seeing huge results from this training. Congratulations to all participant officers.”