National Inland Waterways Authority says 156 persons are missing in the boat mishap which occurred in Kebi State on Wednesday.
NIWA Area Manager in Yauri Kebbi State, Yusuf Birma, disclosed this, adding that the accident was caused by overloading.
Birma said rescue operation was still ongoing but said that four people have been confirmed dead, 20 rescued alive while 156 people are still missing.
Birma said, “The boat was carrying 180 passengers with 30 Bajaj motorcycles. The victims were going to a market in Malele in Borgu local government area of Niger state from Kebbi and the incident happened just one hour into their trip.
“We are still rescuing the victims; the mishap occurred as a result of overloading. The boat capacity is not up 180 passengers it carried, as we speak, only 20 people have been rescued alive, four dead confirmed while the remaining 156 people are still missing and they are believed to be underwater.”
He added that most of the boats are old and weak.
“The boat involved is a wooden boat which is old and very weak but these people will not listen when we sensitise them to reduce the number of passengers they are carrying with the boat, ” he said.
Niger State Emergency Management Agency also confirmed the incident but said that it didn’t happened in their state.