Lagos State Governor, Mr Akinwunmi Ambode over the weekend, commissioned three newly acquired executive boats by the State Government, with a pledge to fully explore the tourism and economic potentials of the waterways in the State for the overall benefit of the people.
Speaking at the unveiling of the boats, Ambode said the State Government was committed to the implementation of the integrated transport management system designed to scale up water, rail and land transportation, adding that the grand plan is to divert at least two million passengers on the waterways daily thereby reducing traffic on the road.
He said the boats and four Jet Skis recently acquired by the State Government to ensure safety and fight crime on the waterways.
According to him: “This is a significant day for Lagos State as we commission three boats belonging to the Lagos State Government. We discovered that sometimes, we do not have the ability for our officials to go on the waterways to address issues relating to people and citizens that live alongside the waterways.
“As you aware, twenty-five percent of Lagos is water and it is important that we put in the right initiatives that can actually make activities on our waterways to thrive and the also people living along the waterways to bring them into proper perspective.
“Sometimes when dignitaries come from other States or countries, they are not able to see the true side of Lagos from waterways perspective and that is one of the reasons the State Government decided that we would procure the boats that would help us to promote tourism in the State so that people can see the great potentials of Lagos State,” he said.
Governor Ambode said as much was ongoing on road rehabilitation and construction, as well as the rail system, the water sector was also experiencing specific initiatives such as construction of terminals, channelization, construction of walkways, among others to encourage more people to key into the sector.
He said: “As people are well aware, we are committed to the integrated transport management system that we have promised Lagosians. As much as we are doing on the roads, we have decided that we would face the waterways. We have just ordered the procurement of seven ferries; we have also invited people from the private sector to take over terminals and also be able to procure their own boats and ferries.”
He added that over six million people walk every day on Lagos roads and that accounted for why walkways were being constructed across the State, while there are plans to create connectivity between water terminals and the roads, especially in Badore, Ajah, Mile 2, Badagry, Ikorodu and other places where there are terminals.
In his remarks, the General Manager of Lagos State Emergency Management Agency (LASEMA), Mr. Tiamiyu Adeshina said the Jet Skis would be deployed across the State to aid rescue operation in case of emergency, and also help to fight crime.