Minister of state for Health, Senator Adeleke Olorunnimbe Mamora has implored the Lagos state government and the National Inland Waterways Authority, NIWA, to cherish and protect the project built by the federal government for the remediation of ecological challenges of siltation, flooding and pollution of ferry channels and its adjoining communities in Lagos, phase 1! from Abuse.
Senator Mamora stated that it is the responsibility of NIWA to own and maintain the project to ensure its sustainability.
Speaking at the unveiling and handing over of the project built by the Ecological Fund Office to the National Inland Waterways Authority, NIWA, for use by the IKO Community in Lagos, Senator Mamora stated that the intervention of the federal government on the construction of jetties has brought about huge relief and assuage the fear of the menace of erosion and other ecological challenges in the area.
The minister said he felt honoured on the invitation of NIWA to commission the project not only that the project is dear to the people of Lagos state, but because it is in keeping faith with the present administration promise that no part of the country will suffer any neglect owing to its geographical location or political consideration.
He appreciated the Lagos state Governor, Mr Babajide Sanwo-olu and the area manager of NIWA Lagos, Mrs Sarat Braimoh and the entire people of Lagos state for their support during the project execution.
Senator Mamora who was the immediate past managing director of NIWA said the agency has become a stepping stone for higher ground.
The minister stated that “the completion of this project has further demonstrated Mr. President’s commitment to addressing problems confronting the various communities across the country.”
According to him, it was estimated that an average of about six million commuters transit from Lagos Mainland to Lagos Island daily, which equally takes travel time of about three hours, whereas ferry transportation through the Inland waterways takes 30 minutes to get to destination.
Mamora explained that what this means is that transportation will equally take off about 2 million commuters from the Lagos gridlock.
He said NIWA has identified the CMS –Mile 2 route as the busiest route for ferry services but that for the high pollution rate, flooding along the river banks as well as siltation along the ferry channels it has not been easy for operators.
The Senator said that these challenges have negatively affected ferry services as marine litters and shallow channels have made ferry operators to avoid these ferry routes.
He added that the dream of the present administration is to resuscitate and upgrade existing jetties and make the ferry route operational by removing silt and solid waste along the ferry channels which according to him is in line with international best practices.
Earlier in her welcome address,the Permanent Secretary Ecological Project Office, Dr. Habiba Lawal said that the Federal Government received quite a number of requests regarding the need to embark on the project as a result of the imminent danger posed by the devastating recurring erosion and flooding that have been threatening the lives and property of the communities .
Dr. Lawal who was represented by a Director in EPO, Yusuf Addy stated that the dangers posed to the communities necessitated the prompt attention it received from the Federal Government.
In his welcome address, the managing director of NIWA, Dr George Moghalu stated that the project is a good development for water transportation in Lagos.
Dr Moghalu said NIWA has always received the needed support from the federal government.
He advised the host communities not to misuse the project.
The NIWA boss pointed out that the project was built by the ecological project office and handed over to NIW A for the host community.