The National Inland Waterways Authority has donated an 18-passenger capacity ferry boat to Kano State as part of measures to improve water transport in the state.
This is contained in a statement by Hassan Fagge, the Chief Press Secretary to the acting Governor, Dr Nasiru Gawuna, and issued to newsmen on Saturday.
According to Fagge, the gesture demonstrated the Federal Government and NIWA’s concern and readiness to complement the State Government’s effort of bringing succour to the rural communities.
He said the state government planned to provide three speed boats and life jackets for passengers taking the cross-channel ferry from Badau village to other communities in Bagwai town, Bagwai Local Government Area.
Fagge said that the state acting Governor, Nasiru Gawuna, made the disclosure while commissioning the 18-passenger capacity ferry boat donated by NIWA at the Bagwai LGA.
Over 40 passengers, including pupils of Madinatu Islamiyya School in the Bagwai Local Government Area of the state, had died in a boat mishap that occurred in November 2021.
The boat capsized while on its way from Badau village to Bagwai town, the headquarters of the Bagwai Local Government Area of the state.
The deceased students were said to be on their way to attend Maulud, an Islamic celebration held annually to commemorate the birth of Prophet Muhammad.
“I wish to also assure NIWA of our commitment of working together towards improving water transport in Kano State.
“While congratulating the people of Badau village for receiving the donation of the boat, Gawuna also urged them to comply with all Ferry safety guidelines so as to avoid recurrence of boat mishaps,’’ the statement said.
The Area Manager of NIWA, Nasiru Maude, said the donation of the 18-passenger capacity ferry boat was in furtherance of the agency’s commitment towards ensuring safety of water transportation in the country.
“This is part of our efforts to ensure protection of lives on the waterways,” he said.
Maude, however, urged the Badau community to ensure they wear life jackets for their safety while on the ferry boat.