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Lagos to provide alternative means of transportation-Sanwo-Olu

Lagos State Governor Babajide Sanwo-Olu said on Thursday that his administration was planning to reduce the number of cars on the road.

He said the government intended to provide alternatives, which are rail and waterways transportation, adding that they will be efficient and safe for Lagosians and those who choose to visit the state.

The governor said the water transportation sector would receive attention.

Sanwo-Olu, who was represented by Deputy Governor Obafemi Hamzat, spoke in Alausa, Ikeja at the 4th Lagos Traffic Radio Lecture Series with the theme: ‘Lagos beyond road: the intermodal transport option’.

He said the government has identified the need for intermodal transport to resolve gridlock, adding that that was why the blue line was initiated and BRT lanes constructed.

Sanwo-Olu said human movement is a necessity and all prosperous cities around the world must deal with traffic and transportation issues on a regular basis.

He said in the last few weeks, he has had promising discussions with groups of investors, who have expressed their intention to invest in the transport sector, especially the water transport sub-sector.

He noted that the water transport sector is grossly underutilised in terms of harnessing its economic potential.

“The current traffic situation indicates that 95 per cent of transportation is done by road in our state of over 22 million people, with about 25 per cent of the land mass consisting of waterways.”

National Inland Waterways Authority (NIWA) Managing Director Senator Olorunnimbe Mamora said 90 per cent of mishaps on waterways are due to non-compliance with the inland waterways transportation codes by operators.

He identified overloading and night navigation among the major causes of waterways accidents.

The former House of Assembly Speaker, who lamented the rise in waterways mishaps, cautioned operators and other stakeholders against isolation of existing rules.

He said: “Against the existing rules that waterway navigation should stop at 9pm, many boat operators  isolated the rules for their own selfish end, navigating even beyond 11pm.

“Just as we have at the parks, some of the operators are also on drugs, it happens even on the waterways. Another major cause of accident is not putting on life jacket by passengers, which could have saved them in case of eventuality”.

Mamora appealed to relevant agencies of the government to enforce rules so as to ensure compliance to save lives.

The NIWA boss expressed the willingness of his agency to go into partnership with the state government, particularly in the area of enforcement.

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