The National Inland Waterways Authority (NIWA) has deployed forty-foot jetties to bring water transportation closer to commuters as the Third Mainland Bridge is closed partially for repairs lasting the next six months.
The floating jetties are to compliment the flagging off of four new water transportation routes located at Adekunle, under the Third Mainland Bridge outward Oworonshoki from Yaba, another at Lekki Phase One by NIWA Police Post, Oyingbo and at Oworonshoki , inbound the Island.
The Lagos Area Manager of NIWA, Engr. Sarat Braimah, said that the effort , which would be subject to review throughout the dureation of the repairs of the bridge, was in response to bring ease to over 33, 000 commuters who ply the important link bridge in and out of the Island to work and other sundry businesses.
“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 effort on Friday in Lagos.
As at Friday, two of the four new routes, Adekunle (Yaba) and Lekki Phase One were opened for immediate operation, while the remaining two at Oworoshonki and Oyingbo would be put to use after minor dredging of the waterfront.
The Lagos Area Manager noted that the intervention by NIWA was well thought out as the effort will 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 operationalise a revolution on water transportation as a solution to the unexplainable traffic situation in Lagos.
She said: “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 but 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.”
On security and usage of the floating jetties, Braimah 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 Tourist Boat operators and water Transporters (atbowaton) and their chairman, Mr. Lawal Saheed has assured of a hundred percent buy-in on this project” engineer Braimah further explained, adding 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 jingle 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 stated.
Already, the big boat transportation services outfits such as Tarzan boats, Texas Connection, Sealift and Seacoach, have signified readiness to deploy their boats to boost the NIWA initiative.