"We believe not less than 30 women and children including the bride drowned. Our local divers have succeeded in recovering 18 bodies while the search for the remaining bodies is going on," Idris said.
Mohammed Ibrahim Abdullahi, an official at the Nigeria Civil Defence Corps, said he had "lost hope of finding any of the passengers alive".
"It is a recovery exercise, not a rescue operation," he said.
Many Africans rely on water travel to reach destinations unreachable by road.
But boats are often packed beyond capacity by captains seeking to maximize profits, and accidents are common.