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FG, NIWA to address ecological challenge in Lagos

By Adaku Onyenucheya
20 October 2021   |   3:39 am
As part of efforts to address the challenges of siltation, flooding and solid wastes along the ferry channels around communities in Lagos, the Federal Government has commissioned a new jetty...

Dr. George Muoghalu, Managing Director of the National Inland Waterways Authority (NIWA)

• Commission jetty at Tin Can Island port

As part of efforts to address the challenges of siltation, flooding and solid wastes along the ferry channels around communities in Lagos, the Federal Government has commissioned a new jetty at the Tin Can Island/ Olodi-Apapa waterway.

The Jetty, a Federal Government intervention project, was executed through the Ecological Fund Office (EFO), Office of the Secretary to the Government of the Federation, and handed over to the National Inland Waterways Authority (NIWA).

Commissioning the Jetty, the Minister of State for Health, Olorunimbe Mamora, said the project was approved in the fourth quarter of 2018 with the aim of addressing the menace of pollution and siltation that has been the major problems hampering water transportation in some of the ferry routes in Lagos.

According to him, this intervention by the Federal Government will bring huge relief and address menace of erosion and other ecological challenges in the Tin Can area.

“The National Inland Waterways Authority (NIWA) identified the CMS-Mile 2 as the busiest route of ferry services. But the high pollution rate, flooding along the river banks and siltation along the ferry channel have negatively affected ferry services as marine litters and the shallow channels have made service operators to avoid these ferry routes,”

“The dream however is to resuscitate, upgrade existing jetties and make the ferry route operational through the removal of silt and solid wastes along the ferry channels, which of course, is in line with international best practices,” he said.

Mamora said while it is estimated that an average of six million commuters spend about three hours to transit from the Lagos mainland to Lagos island daily by road, ferry transportation through the Inland Waterways takes about 30 minutes to reach the same destination.

He added that the water transportation will take about two million commuters off the gridlock experienced in Lagos State.

Receiving the jetty, the Managing Director of NIWA, Dr. George Moghalu, appealed to the community leaders to manage and protect the federal government’s project, noting that people often disregard and mismanage such projects and end up blaming the government when it is no longer functional.

He added that it is the desire of government to make water transportation, particularly inland water transportation a means of choice for movement of goods and services.

Earlier in his welcome address, the Permanent Secretary of Ecological Fund Office (EFO), Dr. Habiba Lawal, said the federal government received a lot of requests regarding the need and desirability of embarking on the project as a result of imminent danger posed by the devastating recurring erosion and flooding that have being threatening the lives and property of these Communities.

He said the risk of shoreline erosion and its negative consequences necessitated the prompt intervention of the federal government in effecting a holistic approach to the control and flooding that would stand the test of time and address the issue of shoreline erosion menace caused by high ocean current/tidal waves over the years.