LASG reiterates commitment to develop water transport
The Lagos State Governor, Mr. Akinwunmi Ambode has reiterated his government commitment and determination to develop water transportation business in line with best practises in the world.
Speaking at the First Annual Water Transportation Stakeholders Forum in Lagos through the State Commissioner for Waterfront Infrastructure & Development, Eng. Adebowale Akinsaya on Thursday, the Governor noted that, the Forum with the theme “Improving Water Transportation Standards and Regulations in Lagos State” organised by the State Waterways Authourity was to provide workable solutions for water transportation to thrive in the State.
He assured that, it is part of his administration’s plan to develop the sector by providing necessary incentives for water transportation to be enhanced and effective in the State.
Ambode observed that, water transportation was the heart of a growing economy like that of the State, adding that, improving capacity of the sector to correlate the safe movement of people and good was paramount.
He urged participants at the Forum to further come up with appropriate standard and regulations which will promote water transportation, stressing that, the industry is very important to the State.
Lagos State Commissioner for Transportation, Dr. Dayo Mobereola represented by the Director of Transport Policy and Coordination in the State Ministry of Transportation, Dr. Taiwo Olufemi Salami noted that, the cosmopolitan nature of the State and its rapidly increasing vehicular and human population underscores the need for a better organized transportation system, which should emphasise the inter-connectivity between road, water and rail.
He emphasised that, the State occupies 3,577 square kilometers with water body accounting for about 23 per cent and an estimated population of over 20 million comprising of a mobile, working, trading and schooling force of about 13 million which commute on daily basis through inadequate transportation facilities in the State.
“As a State with limited land space, public water transportation is key to meeting long term water transport needs and its sustainability” he said.
According to him, the State is fundamentally constrained in land scarcity, growth rate of our vehicle population must be further reduced as road building opportunities would be more limited in future.
He averred that, total travel time is more important to commuters and government, there is need to work very hard to achieve this by improving public transport especially on water which has a natural corridor.
He called on commuters to value making public transport a choice mode, saying that, it was not realistic for government to plan for every household in the State to own a car.
He added that, with the advantages of water mass and the mobile population, there is scarcely any part of the State that cannot be reached by water.
He listed the areas to include Lagos Island, Victoria Island, Maroko, Oyingbo and Ijora (Mainland), Ikorodu, Agboyi, Epe, Ejinrin, Amuwo-Odofin, Ajegunle, Apapa, Ikeja, Isolo (Oke-Afa), Oworonsoki, Akoka, Badore, Ijede, Egbin, Victoria Garden City (VGC).
Others are Langbasa, Lekki, Tarqua Bay, Festac, Mile 2, Satellite Town (Ijegun Egba), Ojo, Oto, Ijon – Ayobo on River Illo and Badagry.
He urged Lagosians to use the waterways along these axes which is of greater benefits in terms of material, time, environment, noise and cost considerations, physical and mental.
The managing director of the State Waterways Authourity (LASWA), Miss Abisola Kamson stated that, all hands must be on deck to work together to achieve a safer, cleaner Lagos and more prosperous Lagos.
According to her, this amongst others is the major reason why water transportation should play a critical role and serve as a vital public transportation option.
Earlier, Secretary of the State Waterways Authority, Mr. Damilola Famakinwa stated that, LASWA cannot claim to know it all hence the authourity’s call for inputs from stakeholders and members of the public.