The Lagos state government has said that it has earmarked 30 routes across the waterways in the state where it will channelized and dredged for effective utilization by Lagosians.
The Secretary to the Lagos State Waterways Authority (LASWA), Mr. Oluwadamilola Emmanuel disclosed this in Lagos on Wednesday when he led a team from the authority on advocacy visit to the Association of Tourist Boat Operators and Water Transportation (ATBOWATON).
Emmanuel who rolled out interventions by the Lagos State government on waterways said already, four of the 30 routes were receiving attention of the government.
According to him,”Lagos State have a number of interventions, like I have already mentioned to you, I told you that there is going to be channelization of the waterways which always involves dredging and creating pathways. Lagos State intends to channelize 30 routes and 4 of them are already being done within this year amongst other things.
“We are also ensuring safety by donating life jackets across the five divisions of the state. I mentioned to you already that last year, we procured an equipment to start tackling the menace of the water hyacinth and to even look into it which served as a pilot for Lagos State to see how to tackle the issue of water hyacinth. So, with the machine, we were able to clear to certain extent and Lagos state is currently looking at ways to get more machines to make sure each of the 5 divisions has at least one of the machines so that we will be able to tackle water hyacinth as it comes”.
On security on the waterways, Emmanuel recalled that about 2015 when Governor Akinwunmi Ambode assumed office as a Governor, he donated 2 gunboats to the Marine Police adding that the governor during the visit of the Inspector-General of Police to Lagos last week, promised to procure more gunboats to further assist the Police.
He informed that the state government had about 26 functional jetties even as he observed that the priority for the government now was to upgrade the existing jetties saying that the state government had 4 terminals which it intended to concession between now and 2018.
The LASWA Scribe disclosed that construction of fuel dump stations across the state for the boat operators was another critical area the state was already looking at pointing out that between now and end of the year when LASWA hopes to open its Falomo office, it was going to have the first fuel dump for the boat operators while other ones were going to be spread across the state.
On navigational lights along waterways to aid night operations and further reduce accidents which usually occur at night, he replied,” For us, it is step by step, we believe that one of the critical things is for us to get this sector moving. If the sector is not yet moving, why do we need to encourage night transportation when we know that there are already safety hazards during the day?
“So, for us, it is about making sure that during the day, it is set in place and once that is put in structure, we can now consider developing waterways at night but right now, we are not going to encourage that. Even the federal authority doesn’t encourage that as well because this is federal law”.
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