By Olasunkanmi Akoni
Lagos State Governor, Mr Babajide Sanwo-Olu, has stressed the need for collaborative efforts with management of the Nigerian Maritime and Safety Agency, NIMASA, and stakeholders to decongest the perennial gridlock in Apapa and environs.
Recall that Sanwo-Olu, on February 1, 2021, established a Special Traffic Management and Enforcement Compliance Team to tackle the traffic gridlock around the Apapa axis.
Despite the setting up of the team, headed by Special Adviser to the Governor on Transportation, Mr Toyin Fayinka, gridlock has persisted on the axis, particularly, along Oshodi-Apapa Expressway.
Other members of the team include: General Manager, Lagos State Traffic Management Authority, LASTMA, Engr. Olajide Oduyoye; Senior Special Assistant to the Governor on Central Business Districts, Sola Giwa, and SSA to the Governor on Political Security Intelligence, Ayodeji Laurent.
Sanwo-Olu made the call for synergy on Tuesday, when he hosted top management of NIMASA, led by its Director-General, Dr. Bashir Jamoh, on a courtesy visit to him at the Lagos House, Alausa, Ikeja.
Sanwo-Olu noted that the state is responsible for over 70 per cent maritime activities, saying, “it’s important we work collaboratively.
According to him, “Another area of partnership is in the area of wreckage. Once we find those wreckage, we should put them out. We are at the stage of completing 15 jetties in the state.
“We have moved over 250,000 passengers through our ferries in less than a year. Our plan is to develop the waterways where people do a lot. It is a deliberate strategy we need to look at.
‘’As a government, we are ready to work hand in hand with you. We will commission the Lekki Port before the end of this administration so we can de-congest Apapa.
“We are willing and ready. We want to see that real synergy, “Sanwo-Olu stated.
Jamoh, who declared Lagos as the best in maritime safety in the country, stressed that in spite of high rate of insecurity in the maritime sector in the country, “Lagos remains the only state that has the highest maritime security.”
While identifying area of partnerships between the state government and NIMASA, the DG said the extinction of the fishing industry is due to insecurity on the waterways, adding that the agency is ready to partner with Lagos State to ensure safety on the waterways.
“We are seeing the extinction of the of the fishery industry due to maritime insecurity. 98 per cent of the maritime insecurity originates from land to sea but Lagos still remains the state that has the highest maritime security,” he said.
Other areas of partnerships are the ferry services, waste management on the sea, and the extension and development of the shipping industry.
“We are also looking at the ferry services as the alternative means of transportation so we can reduce the level of traffic congestion we are experiencing.
“Also the estate management on the sea. Another area has to do with the shipping extension and development so that our visions which we envisaged in the next 20 years will take us to the promised land,” the DG said.
He further said the maritime industry, if well harnessed, could generates $90 trillion for the country and help the country diversify and ends its reliance on oil.
He added the Blue Economy, which is the use of the ocean for economic growth, will increase livelihood and ” enhance the well being of the people.
“We need alliances and we have recognised Lagos State as one of our alliances,” Jamoh
Vanguard News Nigeria