Wednesday, July 29,2020
THE National Inland Waterways Authority, NIWA, has deployed forty floating jetties to help bring water transportation services close to commuters to help ease the effect of the six months duration closure and repairs of the Third Mainland Bridge, Lagos. The floating jetties are to complement the flagging-off of four new water transportation routes located at Adekunle, under the Third Mainland Bridge outward Oworoshonki from Yaba, at Lekki phase one by NIWA police post, Oyingbo, and at Oworoshonki, inbound Lagos Island. Two of the four new routes, at Adekunle (Yaba) and Lekki phase one, were opened for immediate operation while the remaining two, at Oworoshonki and Oyingbo, will be put to use after minor dredging of the waterfront ambience. Lagos Area Manager of NIWA, Sarat Lara Briamah, disclosed that the effort which is subject to review throughout the duration of repairs on the bridge, was aimed at bringing succour to over 33 thousand commuters who ply the link bridge in and out of the Island for work and other sundry engagements. “This alternate transportation services certainly will help reduce traffic flow, save users of the bridge expected stress, loss of valuable man-hour and also ease vehicular movement of goods and services out of the island, not foreclosing the health benefits of using water transportation”, she explained while flagging off the project last weekend in Lagos. Braimah noted that the intervention by NIWA was well thought out as the effort was not only to bring water transportation services closer to Lagos communities but will provide the needed data for initiating a blanket floating jetty projects across the vast Lagos inland waterways under the watch of NIWA to operationalize a revolution on water transportation as a solution to the unexplainable traffic situation in Lagos. Speaking further, she noted, “Our Managing Director, 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 but to also holistically chart a new agenda in opening-up certain waterfront areas, deploying floating jetties not just about temporary response but as a strategic plan to make every part of Lagos accessible by water and provide roads on water.” On security and usage of the floating jetties, the NIWA boss informed that security will 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 will 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, Lawal Saheed, has assured of a hundred percent buy-in on this project,” Braimah furthered explained. She added that all categories of water transportation services will be monitored to avoid any mishap or sharp practices. “We are determined to make it work despite lean resources at a time like this and we expect Lagosians to embrace the effort. And to make the new routes popular, we have done radio jingles and likewise, printed hands bills to be distributed at strategic points to motorists and other commuters who will be encouraged to park their vehicles either at home or at the designated jetty areas and take to the waters for ease of doing business even after the bridge is fully opened to capacity operations,” she added.