Market Boom For Canoe, Engine Boat Operators, Hike Prices In Lokoja

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From Noah Ocheni, Lokoja

   Sequel to the natural disaster heralded by the devastating floods in some parts of Kogi state, passengers have resorted to boarding canoe to their offices, Schools, market places in a bid to carry out their daily activities.

The unwilling patronage which many passengers are doing with utmost fears when boarding canoes are being capitalised upon by operators of Canoes to subject the poor people of Kogi to another phase of economic hardship.

As there was no alternative measure by government to provide an emergency short distance journey transportation for the people, operators of Canoes and engine boats hike their fares at will.

When contacted, one of the canoe paddlers, Mallam Sedique Suleiman Said since the arrival of the flood on Saturday evening, he use to go home with at least, #4,000 or more.

“As you can see many youths are now engaged in one activity or the other trying to make two ends meet, which has equally reduced criminality in the society” Suleiman added.

Meanwhile, the monitoring safety team of Nigeria Waterways Authority, (NIWA) are at various loading points to ensure that their canoes and engine boats are in good condition and guide against a overloading.

To this end, passengers have resorted to hiring canoes at exorbitant prices to convey them to their offices, Schools as well as market places now that flood has taken over major roads in Lokoja especially Kabawa if one is coming from Abuja and Ganaja to the eastern flank of the country.

As of the time of filing in this report, travellers are being trapped in Lokoja, the Confluence State of River Niger and Benue since Kogi is the only Nigerian State that borders ten (10) other States.

Recall that Nigeria Metrological Agency (NIMET), had warned that there were chances of flash flooding of roads, lowly settlements and river channels, saying moderate and heavy rainfalls would be witnessed in the Northern and Central States. 

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