The Managing Director of the Hydroelectric Power Producing Areas Development Commission (HYPPADEC), Alhaji Abubakar Yelwa, has called for a law to make life jackets compulsory for boat users in the country.
Yelwa made the appeal on Wednesday in Ilorin while reacting to what he described as the high fatality recorded in Monday’s boat mishap in Patigi, Kwara State.
The HYPPADEC boss spoke during the flag-off of the distribution of the 2023 HYPPADEC-subsidised fertilisers for 5,795 farmers in Kwara.
Represented by the Director of Community Services in the agency, Dr Mahmud Umar, he said: “The fatality recorded in the unfortunate boat mishap in Patigi on Monday was due to the failure of the boat passengers to use life jackets.
“HYPPADEC spent N1.6 billion on the procurement of life jackets for boat passengers last year. If the victims had put on the life jackets, the fatality rate would have been very minimal because a life jacket can keep a victim afloat for at least seven hours, and help would have come from villagers within that period.
“I want to call on relevant authorities to legislate a law that will make the use of life jackets compulsory for boat passengers and as well restrain the boat operators from operating at night.”