The National Inland Waterways Authority (NIWA) says it has deployed 40 feet floating jetties to bring water transportation closer to commuters during the partial closure of the Third Mainland Bridge for repairs.
Mrs Sarat Braimah, Lagos Area Manager of NIWA, made this known in a statement made available to newsmen in Lagos.
According to Braimah, this is a strategic response throughout the six months partial closure of the Third Mainland Bridge for repairs.
She said that the floating jetties would complement the kick off of four new water transportation routes at Adekunle under the Third Mainland Bridge outward Oworoshoki from Yaba; Lekki Phase one by NIWA Police Post, Oyingbo and Oworoshonki in-bound Island.
“Two of the four new routes, at Adekunle (Yaba) and Lekki Phase one were opened for immediate operation on Friday, while Oworoshonki and Oyingbo will be put to use after minor dredging of the waterfront ambiance,” she said.
Braimah said that the strategy was subject to review throughout the duration of the repairs.
She said that it was meant to bring succour to over 33,000 commuters, who ply the bridge in and out of the Island to work and other businesses.
“This alternate transportation services will help reduce traffic flow, save users stress, loss of valuable man hour, ease vehicular movement of goods and services in and out of the Island, not foreclosing the health benefits of using water transportation,” she said.
The area manager said that the intervention by NIWA was well thought out as the effort would bring water transportation services closer to Lagos communities.
She noted that this would provide the needed data for initiating a blanket floating jetty project across Lagos Inland Waterways under the watch of NIWA and operationalise a revolution on water transportation, as a solution to the traffic situation in Lagos.
“Our Managing Director, Dr George Moghalu, mandated us in Lagos, to be futuristic and proactive in the discharge of our obligations and of an inclusive response to the challenge of the partial closure of the bridge.
“To also holistically chart a new agenda in opening up certain waterfront areas, deploying floating jetties, not just about temporary response, but as strategic plan to make every part of Lagos accessible by water and provide roads on water,” she said.
Braimah explained that security would be provided round the clock at the identified take off points by NIWA Police and sister security agencies, while the organised boat operators in Lagos would man the daily operation at the new jetties.
“We are collaborating with the Lagos chapter of the Association of Tourist Boat Operators and Water Transporters (ATBOWATON) and their chairman, Mr Lawal Saheed, has assured us of a hundred per cent buy-in on this project.
“All categories of water transportation services will be monitored to avoid any mishap or sharp practices.
“We are determined to make it work, in spite of lean resources at a time like this, and we expect Lagosians to embrace the effort,” she said.
Bramaih said that to make the new routes popular, NIWA had done radio jingles, and printed hand bills to be distributed at strategic points to motorists and other commuters.
She said that NIWA wanted to encourage commuters to leave their vehicles at home or park at the designated jetty areas and travel by water to the Island.
The area manager said that the arrangement would ease doing business, even after the bridge might have been fully opened to capacity operations.
She said that big boat transportation services outfits such as Tarzan Boats, Texas Connection, sea lift and Seacoach, had already signified their readiness to deploy boats to boost the NIWA initiative.
Edited By: Chidinma Agu/Olagoke Olatoye (NAN)
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