National Inland Waterways Authority (NIWA) has promised to make the inland water transportation busy and safer for Lagos residents.
This was disclosed yesterday by NIWA Lagos Area Manager, Mohammed Sambo at the official commissioning of Seacoast Ferry Service in Lagos.
Sambo said with over 21 million people living in Lagos and with over six million traveling daily to either their work place or around the city, water transportation remains the best option.
He said, “A better option is to travel by water, the business of NIWA is to develop inland waterway transport in Nigeria as the fourth mode of transportation which is the least developed in Nigeria.
“Our job is to make inland waterway transport as busy as possible and within a period of less than three days he (Seacoast) has our approval to operate ferry at our terminal at CMS, Victoria Island and Ikorodu.
“We arrange some strategic partnership with Seacoast to alleviate the suffering of the people of Lagos. Seacoast has deployed 9 boats and about 15 will come soon.
“We will give them the institutional support that is necessary to assist them in achieving their objectives and to deepen water transport in Lagos and in Nigeria in particular.”
Sambo also said NIWA was doing everything possible to ensure the clearance of water hyacinth on the waterways.
“One of the major problems affecting water transportation in Nigeria is water hyacinth and NIWA has every year decided to deploy its water hyacinth clearing machine with the purpose of clearing water hyacinth from our waterways and make water transportation as easy as possible.
“We operate nine boats now but before the end of the year, we intend adding additional 11 boats and we will continue to do that until we have 40 boats to operate around Lagos before expanding to other parts of the country.”
“Our boats would be built in Nigeria. Also, we have employed about seventy Nigerians presently working with us and we promise to employ more as soon as we expand our fleet and operations,” he said.
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