The Association of Tour Boat Operators and Water Transport of Nigeria (ATBOWATON) on Thursday urged the Federal Government to build more Jetties in Lagos State to boost water transportation.
The association’s President, Mr Tarzan Balogun told the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) in Lagos that the members were facing daunting challenges on the waterways.
According to him, insufficient jetties had impeded water transportation in the state.
“A jetty is a point where boat operators assemble to convey passengers to their various destinations; it is also an arrival and departure point.
“Some people in Lagos prefer to use water transportation as an alternative to road transport because of the traffic challenges on the roads.
“But, the challenge that boat operators are facing is the issue of jetty. We do not have enough jetties that we can operate from,’’Balogun said.
He listed places like Badagry, Amuwo Odofin, Epe, Ikorodu, Makoko, Lagos Island, Ajah, Takwa Bay and Apapa as locations where the jetties should be sited.
Balogun added that there were functioning jetties in some of the areas but many of them were sub-standard and needed to be upgraded.
“The few jetties around Lagos State are not enough to convey passengers on the waterways.
“The water transportation users are far more than the jetties we currently have.
“There are some areas in Lagos that need the service of boat operators, but lack of jetties in their environment have denied them such services,’’he said.
He bemoaned the incidence of multiple charges they had to contend with, and stressed that such charges could frustrate operators out of business.
“The Federal Government agencies collect their charges, Lagos state government collects tax, the local governments collect their own dues too.
“Nigeria Inland Waterways Authority (NIWA) collect their own charges as well, all these multiple charges kill the industry and can frustrate operators out of business,’’he said.
Balogun appealed to the relevant authorities to urgently address their complaints on multiple charges, so that boat operators could thrive in their businesses