The National Inland Waterways Authority (NIWA) says its boat services traffic volume has remained the same despite the global Coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic ravaging most firms and economies in the world.
NIWA’s Head of Marine, Engr. Stanley Onuoha who said this in a recent chat with ‘Timenewsreporter.com noted that a good percentage of their passengers are people who have the boat as the only means of accessing their areas of residence and business outlet.
He said: “There is no much difference in traffic;. People that have been patronising the service have continued. there are some people that the only way they can get home or to their business places is through the boat. They must come, so the traffic has remained the same and we have not encountered any problem since the COVID-19 challenge, but there has been a small adjustment in fares upwards.”
In line with the federal government’s directive to contain the virus, he said the capacity of each boat has been reduced to 60 per cent of what it used to be in order to ensure social distancing.
Onuoha added that other measures for easing down of the COVID-19 lockdown given in May by the federal government was circulated operators in Lagos by NIWA and religiously implemented by the Authority.
“The Authority has implemented this by providing water and sanitiser at entry points, wearing of nose mask and carrying 60 per cent capacity of each boat’s full load. Also for now only from level 14 officers come to work, formerly we were working three days in a week but now daily and the operators likewise come daily.
“Generally as the Presidential Task Force (PTF) on COVID-19 directs, we comply and NIWA has been monitoring all these.”
Random visits of the ferry terminal at outer Marina, Lagos, by our Correspondent showed a less busy terminal from what it was prior to the pandemic, with passengers paying higher for the boat tickets issued at the terminal.
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