By Innocent Orok
The organized private sector boating services body, Association of Tourist Boat Operators and Water Transporters of Nigeria ( ATBOWATON) has appointed two special advisers to help deepen the running of the organization and same breath, sent out warning signals to registered members who ignore distress calls from fellow 0perators in the course of accidents or operational difficulties along the waterways.
Those appointed to help the ATBOWATON President, Dr Ganiyu Tarzan Balogun to recalibrate the foremost private sector boat operators regulatory body are Mr Tope Fajimirokun and Mr Joseph Philip
While Fajimirokun who is also the Badagry chapter chairman of the association , takes up additional responsibility as Special Advisor to ATBOWATON National President on inter – government relationship and labour matters, Engineer Joseph Philip,will henceforth process all national security issues on waterways, advice and guide the National President. All appointments are of immediate effect.
To also check the unhealthy breakdown of boat operation ethics, President of the association, says violators of International Maritime Organization ( IMO) save our soul distress call from any boat in trouble, will face serious sanctions, not rulling out expulsion from the association as a last punitive measure.
Rising from a meeting with the Board of Trustees, in Badagry over the weekend and attended by Frank Meke( BOT), representing others and Lagos chapter, chairman, Alhaji Babatunde Lawal, President of the association, Dr Tarzan Balogun disclosed that he needed the help of the two new appointees to chart new areas of ATBOWATON national operations in order to serve members well and to also enthrone democratic engagements expected of a national body like ATBOWATON.
He called on Messrs Tope Fajimirokun and Joseph Philip to bring their wealth of experience and passion for the industry to bear on their new assignments, adding that the association has come of age and must be seen to add value to the development of the system.
On the rising tide of negative attitude of operators, particularly those in Lagos, ignoring calls from distressed boats , Dr Balogun warned that violators, will be profiled, fined at first instance and on last resort, will face outright expulsion with no options of fine from the association.
Lagos chapter chairman, Alhaji Lawal commended the president for the new appointments, saying it will bring more bite and leadership options for the private sector water transportation body in Nigeria.