Lagos government moves to check boat mishaps
• Says two million passengers commute monthly
• Distributes 500 lifejackets to operators in Badagry
Lagos State government has said that the safety of all waterways users in the state is one of the cardinal objectives of Lagos State Waterways Authority (LASWA), saying that it will not shy away from its primary responsibility.
General Manager, LASWA, Mr. Damilola Emmanuel, disclosed this, yesterday, at a stakeholders’ forum in Badagry during the distribution of 500 lifejackets to boat operators and residents.
He said the state government was saddened and worried by the unfortunate incident of boat mishaps recorded on this axis, especially in recent past, saying: “We pray to the Almighty to grant the families of departed souls the fortitude to bear the loss.”
LASWA General Manager said to forestall reoccurrence of such regrettable incidence, new operational guidelines would be issued for ferry operations in the state while restricting the usage of jetties across the entire Badagry axis.
Besides, the state government has revealed that two million passengers now move monthly on Lagos waterways.
“Despite the ravaging effects of the pandemic, the use of water transport in Lagos State witnesses tremendous transformation. The increased ridership figures on our waterways are particularly motivating, with over two million monthly ridership. The state waterways show that it is able to withstand significant pressure shifted from the road traffic, yet the potentials are endless.
“In addition to free donation of lifejackets of different sizes, we have also commenced a massive safety awareness campaign across all jetties and terminals to educate and sensitise ferry passengers and boat operators on safety procedures.
“As a responsible agency of government, we would not relent on our efforts at making sure the accident record is near-zero and we shall not rest on our oars until we achieve a clean, safe and prosperous waterways in Lagos,” Emmanuel said.
MEANWHILE, Chairman, Badagry Chamber of Commerce, Industry, Mines and Agriculture, Alhaji Fatai Shokunbi, has appealed to LASWA to ensure Badagry is not left out in its development drive, and ensure that Badagry division gets its modern jetties and deployment of ferries.