The Lagos State Government has commenced channelization of four commercial ferry routes out of the thirty already identified as part of activities to scale up water transportation and give a quantum leap to tourism in the State.
According to the Commissioner for Waterfront Infrastructure Development, Engr Adebowale Akinsanya, the four routes currently being channelised would be followed with another two, while work on the remaining twenty-four would be implemented in phases within the next four years.
The routes are 10km Ebute Ojo to Marina, 7km Bayeku to Ajah, 16km Ijede to Marina and 6km Ijede to Badore. All the routes are with 40metres width and minimum of four metres deep into the waters.
Speaking on the development, Akinsanya said: “Essentially, what we are seeing is the ongoing channelisation which is creating road on water. Our intention is to make any boat or ferry sail freely on our waterways so they don’t run into the issue of being grounded.
“Right now, we are embarking on four and very soon, we will start another two. So, the project is about four years programme. Aside channelisation, we also need ferries and terminals to complete the package and all those are being done as well. Some jetties numbering about 10 are under construction and more ferries are still coming which are part of the plan to fully tap into the potential of the waterways.”
On illegal dredging and other unwholesome practices, the Commissioner said the State Government had already intensified enforcement of relevant laws, assuring that no stone would be left unturned in securing the waterways and also ensuring safety of lives and property.
“Within the last couple of weeks, officials of the State Government have been going around the State to look at it. With the Court of Appeal judgment which upheld the powers of the State Government on inland waterways, we have taken that initiative going round,” he disclosed.