Ondo to commence waterways insurance scheme
Ondo state government is to commence Inland Waterways Travellers’ Safety Insurance Scheme this February on selected jetties across the riverine communities in the Southern Senatorial District.
The safety plan is meant to provide protection and welfare for travellers both within and outside Ondo State via its Inland Waterways and also provide relief for families of boat mishap.
Speaking with The Hope, the Special Adviser to the Governor on Transportation, Mr. Tobi Ogunleye affirmed that, 250 live jackets will arrive the area for the use of the travellers.
“We have produced about 250 live jackets for passengers on our waterways, we are waiting for the delivery of the jackets from our insurance company, if we get the jackets today, the programme will commence”, he said.
He noted that the initiative was to protect and secure the lives of the people in the riverine areas of the state.
The decision to commence the implementation of the safety plan this month was arrived at after the meeting of stakeholders with the government, headed by the SSA to the Governor at the Ministry of Transportation.
The underlying benefits in case of a boat mishap, include the sum of N200,000 for dead victims, N100,000 for permanent disability, and about N25,000 for medical expenses.
For travellers to qualify for the above benefits which was described as a ‘Life Policy’ by NEM Insurance PLC, each traveller will pay N50 (within the state) and N100(outside the state).
In addition to their travel fare, their names and particulars must be clearly written on the travel manifests and they must wear a life jacket.
The Safety Plan, which was consented to by the state government earlier in August, 2018 started with an inaugural sensitization meeting of all stakeholders and will be coordinated by the appointed consultancy company, Rich Auto Concepts Limited.
The meeting comprised the Maritime Workers Union of Nigeria, Association of Tourist Boat Operators & Water Transporters of Nigeria, and various unions from the Agadagba-Obon communities; with the representative of the Ondo State Commissioner of Police who was also in attendance.
The state government thereby appealed to well meaning residents of Ilaje, Ese-odo and Irele local government areas and environs to take advantage of the scheme, as it is to avoid incessant loss of lives on our water ways; a trend that has become more or less the norm in water transportation nation-wide.
To this end, various boat operators are to ensure strict compliance with the safety plan, especially in the issuance of life jackets to travellers.