By Monsuru Olowoopejo
LAGOS—Lagos State Government, through its Waterways Authority, LASWA, has said the current traffic gridlock experienced across the state has precipitated influx of passengers plying waterways in the state, even as it stressed the need to expand waterways to contain impending pressure from passengers.
The General Manager, Lagos State Waterways Authority, LASWA, Damilola Emmanuel, revealed the influx on waterways, yesterday, at its 10th anniversary and workshop for boat captains and deckhands themed, Building capacity for a safer Lagos Waterways, held in Ikoyi.
Emmanuel added that as a result of the influx, plans have been concluded to distribute 2,000 lifejackets to boat operators basically for safety on the waterways.
He explained that the upsurge in patronage waterways further indicated that in few years, waterways would be the only solution to reduce travel time in the state.
“For instance, in Ipakodo Jetty, Ikorodu, previously, we often had about 1000 passengers, but presently, we often get 2,000 passengers boarding theferries from the terminal to link other parts of the state. That is because of the gridlock experienced across the state.
“So, the next 10 years will be crucial to Lagos State because presently, the roads are becoming more saturated daily. And in another three years if we don’t have the waterways opened up, we would likely have serious problem in Lagos.
“So three things are crucial presently and they are infrastructures-jetties are currently being upgraded to be fit for low and high tides, that is, floating jetties.
“We are also going to establish an emergency management that would respond to any mishap on the waterways just like we have on road in Lagos,” he added.
Earlier, the Permanent Secretary, Ministry of Transportation, Dr. Taiwo Salaam, urged the captains to adhere to safety for sustainance of passengers influx on waterways across the state.