Connect with us

Tourism

We prioritise safety over profit — Lagos boat operators

Published

on

We prioritise safety over profit — Lagos boat operators

Association of Tourists Boat Operators and Water Transporters (ATBOWATON), Lagos Chapter, said it prioritised safety of commuters over profit as COVID-19 ravaged the world.


Its Chairman, Lawal Saheed, said in a statement on Tuesday that its operators had pioneered the opening and sustainance of abandoned and unprofitable water ferry routes.

He said the operators also discovered new routes for the benefit of littoral communities in Lagos, thereby helping the unreached rural areas to be reached.

“The history and role of ATBOWATON cannot be over emphasised as we are in the front of helping to develop rural Lagos, providing desirable and gainful boat ferry services to the people.

“We have provided the necessary protective materials for the safety of our passengers due to the ravaging COVID-19 pandemic.

“Our members are caterpillars of development, providing access to inter communal movement, supporting the state government in reaching the unreached.

“From Victoria Island to Badore, Ikorodu, Epe, Badagry, Ojo, Liverpool, Festac, Takwa Bay and many other places, bridging services and human movement with safety in sight and not just profit,” he said.

Saheed said the association, in partnership with the Lagos State Government, had at various times, stood in gap to provide succour to stranded Lagosians who lived close to water front communities.

He said the association had at critical times intervened to keep abandoned jetties afloat and usable, spending their hard earned money.

“A lot of our members invested to broker new routes and maintain access roads upland to most of jetties at no additional cost to government and people living by the waters or using same to reach their homes in the hinterlands.

“Pioneers, like our National President, Mr Tarzan Balogun, invested so much in Badore, Ikorodu and Victoria Island waterfront and there are also many small time operators that were consistent in providing services for the people.

“Between Ijede, Badore, Ikorodu Epe, Badagry, and Victoria Island, our members can be seen moving passengers in droves, putting safety ahead of other considerations,” he said.

Saheed called on the state government to support ATBOWATON members to sustain the effective boat transport services across the length and breathe of state.

He said the support was needed to open up more communities to development and give room for more job openings in tourism and recreation.

“Our members know the waters and the challenges, and has continued to offer more affordable services to poor rural communities in Lagos.

Saheed said ATBOWATON collectively could increase the percentage of passengers movement from its current hold of about 15 per cent to 30 per cent progressively over time.

He said this would only be possible if the taxes, levies and sundry charges of the members were reduced.

He noted that access to financial palliatives should also be provided for the members to purchase new boats and accessories which had skyrocketed in recent times.

Saheed expressed bitterness about the neglect of ATBOWATON members in the bidding, allocation and concessioning process of jetty terminals.

He noted that most beneficiaries were portfolio operators with no boats or experience in maritime operations.

He said the entire process was shrouded in secrecy and called for transparency and a review of the effort which had put its members at disadvantage.

“Ikorodu jetty was given out to an organisation without experience in running jetties, so also Elegbeta, Ojo, Badagry, Epe and many others.

“When ATBOWATON has members with track records and verifiable investments in the sector like Tarzan boats, Seacoach, seacat and Texas connections,” he said.

“You can imagine operators with investments and presence worth millions of naira, paying levies to organisations without any visible contributions to water transportation in Lagos.

“These arrangements don’t even add value to passengers comfort or aid operators in any way other than just collect fees.

 “It is very sad and we want the governor to look into the matter so as to ensure justice is done,” he said.

Edited By: Chioma Ugboma/Wale Ojetimi (NAN)

Taiye Baiyerohi: is a graduate and a professionally trained journalist, with experience in national news reporting/editing and verification at the News Agency of Nigeria. NNN is a Nigerian online news portal that publishes breaking news in Nigeria, and across the world. Our journalists are honest, fair, accurate, thorough and courageous in gathering, reporting and interpreting news in the best interest of the public, because truth is the cornerstone of journalism and they strive diligently to ascertain the truth in every news report. Contact: editor[at]nnn.com.ng

Andreescu will not defend United States Open title Serena beats Venus to reach Lexington quarter-finals Gov. Umahi rejects Ebonyi’s transfer to Police Zone 13 Division UN Chief welcomes Israel, UAE peace agreement Caretaker committee promises better times for Anambra football stakeholders, unveils new FA secretariat NAPHER-SD identifies loopholes in sports industry policy draft, calls for review COVID-19: PTF working with partners to implement comprehensive response to virus How I survived COVID-19 — Foreign Affairs Minister Leipzig stun Atletico Madrid to reach Champions League last four Workshop identifies harmful impacts of Global Gag Rule on developing nations Okei-Odumakin mourns former US Ambassador, Walter Carrington Nollywood: Censors Board, stakeholders hold roundtable on policy for release of films Not the right time for me to return to Barca as coach, Xavi says Anambra monarchs protest suspension, say “nothing warrants it” Edo Election: Ize-Iyamu promises to harness solid minerals in Akoko-Edo COVID-19: Commission refunds 2020 Hajj intending pilgrims in Adamawa Edo 2020: Crowds at rallies thrill Shaibu Board decries increase in maternal, newborn mortality in Plateau FG will prosecute destroyers of Akanu Ibiam Int’l Airport fence – Minister   IPAC dissolves interim committee, fixes  Sept. 5 for election NiMet predicts cloudy, thundery activities Friday to Sunday Nigeria’s low COVID-19 cases due to low sample collection — NCDC Members pass vote of confidence in ALGON president, Kolade Alabi Osinbajo advocates purpose-built software for virtual court proceedings Oyo govt. to spend N5.5bn to remodel Salami Stadium Resurgence of COVID-19 on health workers worrisome — Minister NGO empowers 40 rehabilitated youths in Kwara LASG gives cash donation to victims of rainstorm in Badagry Left Handers Day: We are blessed, intelligent – Jos left handers Monarchs laud Buhari’s developmental efforts in South East UNnilag VC position not vacant – workers unions 684 evacuees test positive to COVID-19 — PTF FG begins reform of Calabar, Kano special economic zones PenCom mulls contributors RSA transfer window -Official Lagos Police College, LASCODA partner to promote coconut development MTN Nigeria lifts NSE market indices further by 0.38% Christian group urges FG to end banditry, kidnapping, others CAN announces intercessory prayer session over insecurity in Nigeria Banditry in Katsina will soon fizzle out – Sen. Barkiya TETFUND could perform well with available resources – Minister Gov. Diri urges Agip to relocate to Bayelsa Abia needs competent leaders, not zoning — Otti ActionAid Nigeria urges small-holder women farmers on NAIC facilities UK, Nigeria partner on regulatory reforms on right of way 38,000 vulnerable households to benefit from CACOVID relief items in Zamfara    FG inaugurates team on digital innovation for improved service delivery  Be transformational leaders, President, Nigeria Baptist Convention charges new board members Senate committees begins scrutiny, consideration of 2021-2023 MTEF, FSP document How to further boost Nigeria’s GDP — Onu Minister lauds FCTA press corps over accurate reportage, professional conduct