More people find water transportation safer and quicker
The number of people who travel on Lagos waterways monthly in rose from 1.8 million to 2 million in 2013.
The Managing Director of Lagos State Waterways Authority, LASWA, Olayinka Marinho, disclosed this in Lagos on Tuesday.
He said that the number increased because more people were getting aware of the advantages of water transportation.
“We have now reached a stage where we have been able to move about two million people per month and if you look at our figures, they are still rising,” Mr. Marinho said.
According to him, more persons have found water transportation safer and quicker and a way to avoid the heavy traffic on Lagos roads.
“LASWA has been working hard with a lot of its operators; we have increased awareness on the waterways and we have more operators and vessels. The Lagos State government has invested heavily in water transportation as a way of decongesting our roads of daily traffic jam,” he said.
Mr. Marinho said that the state had also invested in water dredging to make the waterways navigable and which had opened more routes.
According to him, about 200 vessels are being operated by 47 operators on the waterways. He added that more vessels were being expected.
The managing director said that many people were opting for the waterways to get to their destinations in good time.
“The movement from Lagos Island to Ikorodu takes about 25 minutes; it takes the same time to get to Ojo. So, more people are getting aware that they can get to their destinations safely and quickly by water. The fresh air they get makes them feel much more comfortable; there are no exhaust fumes on the water and we have been able to increase our security patrols on waterways,” he said.
According to him, water guards usually supervise each of the jetties to ensure that passengers comply with the safety requirements of LASWA.
“The agency enforces a lot of safety checks; we inspect all the boats that travel within the waterways. Every boat must be inspected and certified before allowed to operate to enhance safety. When you are moving about two million people monthly from Badagry to Epe to Ikorodu to Ojo, you need to ensure safety,” the LASWA boss said.
The managing director said that the authority ensured that ferry operators had standard live jackets for passengers, but advised operators and passengers to observe safety rules.