15 Dead, 35 Missing in Niger Boat Mishap


Laleye Dipo in Minna

Fifteen out of 50 passengers traveling on a boat across River Malale in Borgu Local Government Area of Niger State have been confirmed dead in yesterday boat mishap, as the remaining 35 passengers have also not been accounted for.

The Director General of the state Emergency Management Agency, Alhaji Ibrahim Tanko Inga, who confirmed the report in Minna, said the deceased and those yet to be accounted for were on a big boat traveling from Warah market in Ngaski LGA of Kebbi State to Sabon Yunmu in Borgu LGA in Niger State.

Inga said the accident could have occurred as a result of poor visibility caused by heavy rainfall which made the boat operator to hit the trunk of a tree in the river.

He said the search by divers for the remaining traders had begun, while the remains of the deceased would be interred according to Islamic rites.

Inga said the Niger State Government was working towards putting in place regulatory frameworks to check the activities of boat operators as well as address the impediments that hamper their activities.

The director general disclosed that the state government was looking at the possibility of providing life jackets for water transportation in a bid to reduce the high casualty rates associated with such travels.

In 2017, eight people, mostly women and children, lost their lives in a similar accident while returning to Malale from Warrah market in Kebbi State through the same route.