The Lagos State Government has urged residents to embrace water transportation as a mean of decongesting the roads.
It revealed that plans have been concluded to procure more boats to accommodate the increased patronage.
The Managing Director, Lagos Ferry Services (LAGFERRY), Mr. Abdoulbaq Ladi-Balogun, made the appeal recently during a stakeholders’ forum held at Ojo Local Government Secretariat, Ebute-Ojo, Lagos.
Ladi-Balogun stated that the Agency chose the riverine area of Ojo and Oto-Awori to hold the sensitisation meeting on boat transportation because of the incessant traffic logjam caused by ongoing road construction projects within the axis.
He said, “As the State government is paying priority to rehabilitate the road along the Lagos-Badagry Expressway, which comes with its attendant inconveniences to road users, it will be expedient at this moment for the people to make use of the waterways, especially when commuting to Lagos Island, Ikorodu and Badagry. LAGFERRY boats are readily available at the Ebute-Ojo Terminal with adequate car park facilities. They are safe, comfortable, timely and efficient.”
The Managing Director informed that the government has approved the procurement of seven new boats, just as nine other terminals/jetties were being constructed in all senatorial districts of the State, among other ongoing waterways infrastructure development.
Reiterating the commitment of the state government to ensuring safety on the waterways, Ladi-Balogun gave an assurance that adequate measures would be put in place to ensure the Lagos State Waterways Regulatory Agency, LASWA, performed optimally.
“In every area of operations of LAGFERRY, safety is paramount. Compulsory wearing of life jackets, regular maintenance of our boats, ensuring our boats don’t operate beyond stipulated times. Safety is actually the first factor we consider in everything we do.
“Part of the safety measures also includes personal accident insurance package. For every passenger coming on board LAGFERRY boats, on every trip and every route we currently ply, all passengers are fully insured,” he stated.
In his contribution, the Chairman, Ojo Local Government, Mr. Rosulu Olusola Idowu, urged the people of Ojo and environs to take advantage of the alternative means of transportation provided by the State government through LAGFERRY.
“Government has invested heavily in procuring boats and building jetties to serve and make life more convenient for us. Let us embrace water transportation, make good use of the facilities provided and decongest the roads,” he advised.
In his goodwill message, the Vice-Chancellor of Lagos State University (LASU), Prof. Olanrewaju Fagbohun, represented by Dr. Ugo Ugboma, commended the administration of Governor Babajide Sanwo-Olu for his fervent commitment to an intermodal transportation system, especially its huge investment in water transportation.
He expressed the willingness of LASU’s school of transportation to partner with LAGFERRY and Lagos State Waterways Agency, LASWA by providing necessary framework and manpower to drive sustainable water transportation system.
The forum had in attendance traditional rulers, market men and women, political leaders, lawmakers, youth leaders, religious leaders, artisan groups, academia, transport unionists, civil societies, Student Union Government Leaders and members of CDCs and CDAs in Ojo.