Seventeen bodies, Sunday, were recovered from the boat mishap from Mile 2 to Ibeshe in the Ojo area of the Lagos state, as two more bodies are yet to be found.
Following a search and rescue operation on Saturday, four bodies were found. With 13 bodies recovered on Sunday, this brings the number to 17.
The acting Coordinator of the Lagos Territorial Office of NEMA, Ibrahim Farinloye, confirmed the current situation.
“It is likely that two more bodies have been sighted. But it is until final recovery is done before that can be confirmed,” he added.
Farinloye, however, highlighted that findings show that illegal operators carrying services after the end of official hours, 7pm, permitted by the Inland Waterway operation rules are being violated.
He said: “It was revealed that the regulatory bodies have tried to stamp out illegal operations of small boat operators who hardly use life jackets after official hours. They do not heed to efforts put in place.”
The NEMA coordinator insisted that wooden boats are not permitted to be used as passenger boats. “But only at these odd hours do the illegal operators always put the lives of unsuspecting passengers at risk.”
Farinloye assured newsmen that efforts are on to address the gaps with all stakeholders such as the Nigerian Navy’s Special Boat Service, Association of Boat/Ferry Operators of Nigeria, LASWA, NIWA, and NEMA and Marine Police to address the situation.