The National Inland Waterways Authority, NIWA, has confirmed that 12 persons lost their lives in the recent boat mishap that occurred in Lafiagi, Edu Local Government Area of Kwara State.
A statement by NIWA Spokesman, Tayo Fadile, said two persons were rescued from the capsized boat.
He said that search and rescue efforts were still going on by a combined team of NIWA, marine police, fire service, and local divers and dismissed media reports that 19 persons died in the boat mishap
Mr. Fadile said that the NIWA Area Manager in charge of Niger and Kwara States, Abubakar Wathanafa, had visited the scene of the boat mishap for an assessment report.
“The Area Manager attributed the cause of the accident to failure to adhere to NIWA Safety guidelines which include overloading of the boat, using a dilapidated and old boat and failure to use life jackets by the passengers,” the statement said.
It appealed to river transport users to always adhere strictly to NIWA safety guidelines.
While commiserating with the government and people of Kwara State on the incident, the organization said it would continue to work to ensure that such unfortunate incident was reduced to the barest minimum.