The National Emergency Management Agency (NEMA) says that 13 more bodies have been recovered from the ill-fated boat sailing from Mile 2 to Ibeshe, a suburb of Lagos, on Saturday.
The Zone Coordinator, South-West, NEMA, Mr Ibrahim Farinloye, made the disclosure in a statement on Sunday in Lagos.
Farinloye said that a total of 17 bodies had been recovered so far from the recovery operations of the missing victims.
“Late yesterday night, two more bodies were recovered in addition to the two earlier recovered in the morning.
“With this, it has become a total of 17 bodies recovered,” he said.
Farinloye said that search and rescue operations had endedThe coordinator said that illegal boat operators plying the waterways beyond the stipulated official hours led to these avoidable deaths.
He said that the act was a gross violation of the regulations of the waterways guidelines for operators.
“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.
“But they do not heed to regulations put in place to stop them.
“It was also observed that wooden boats are not permitted to be used as passenger boat.
“But it is only at this odd hour that illegal operators always put the lives of unsuspecting passengers at risk,’’ Farinloye said.
He said that efforts were on to address the gaps with all stakeholders such as the Nigerian Navy’s Special Boat Service, the Association of Boat/Ferry Operators of Nigeria and the Lagos State Waterways Authority (LASWA), among others.