36 million commuters to use Lagos waterways in 2014

The Managing Director of Lagos State Waterways Authority (LASWA), Olayinka Marinho, has said that an estimated three million commuters will be transported monthly through the waterways bringing the total to 36 million in 2014.

Marinho said in Lagos yesterday that over two million people currently travel by water in the state monthly.

According to him, the state government is investing in water transportation to decongest the roads of heavy traffic.

He said government was ready to push high capacity boats into the waterways.

“A great deal of people are now getting to know the gains in water transportation. It is safe, cheap and very quick. You also get to your destination in good time. We have been able to move about two million people per month and, if you look at our figures, they are still rising.

“We aim to increase the number to three million monthly as we plan to push more boats on the waterways,” Marinho said.

The LASWA boss said the agency had increased its awareness campaign on the advantages of the waterways and more operators and vessels were now on the waterways.

“The Lagos State Government will, before the end of the first quarter, push out more high capacity ferries on the waterways to enhance water transportation.’’

He said more than 200 vessels were being operated by about 50 operators on the waterways, adding that more are expected this year.

Marinho said the LASWA was making concerted efforts to ensure safety on its waterways through the enforcement of the use of life jackets before embarking on any voyage.

“Our 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 certify and inspect all the boats which travel within the waterways to enhance safety,’’ he said.

He said safety was paramount to the authority and advised operators and passengers to observe laid-down rules.

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