The National Inland Waterways Authority says boat drivers in Warri, Delta State will soon be subjected to psychiatric examination to address the issues of reckless driving.
The Warri Area Manager of NIWA, Shaba Afeso, disclosed this to the News Agency of Nigeria on Tuesday in Warri.
Afeso said the development would serve as one of the safety measures being put in place by the authority to mitigate boat mishap in the area of jurisdiction.
He said a lot of the boat drivers indulged in the intake of alcohol, thereby endangering the life of the passengers.
He said: “We are developing a system to check the excesses of the operators of the inland waterways particularly the boat drivers.
“Soon, we will be conducting psychiatric test on the boat drivers to know if they are fit.
“Somebody will wake up in the morning, drink alcohol and waste people’s life in the river, is unacceptable.
“Some of them take alcohol and drive recklessly without regard for the life of the passengers.
“That is one of the safety measure we are putting in place to reduce accidents on the waterways.”
Afeso said boats were now calibrated with a loading line to checkmate overloading.
“This will enable them to know if their boat is overloaded,” he added.
The area manager said the authority had developed a programme to train and issue the boat driver license, adding that the exercise would commence soon.
He said that live jackets would be distributed to some of the participants at the seminar.
Afeso said: “We have rules, no life jacket, no travel.
“This will check boat mishaps and death recorded during accidents.
“As long as one passenger is not wearing life jacket, we will detain the boat and the entire occupants.
“So passengers should wear life jackets, check the expiring dates, no matter how bad.”
Afeso said NIWA was committed to providing a friendly environment in the maritime domain for businesses to thrive.