The National Inland Waterways Authority (NIWA) said the chaotic traffic gridlock in Apapa area of Lagos State has boosted revenue in water transport services, increased patronage and the number of investors in the business.
The Lagos Area Manager of the Agency, Mr Mu’azu Sambo, disclosed this in an interview with journalists in Lagos, recently.
Sambo said more Lagosians have now embraced water transportation to and from work since the traffic gridlock in Apapa had become unbearable.
According to him, an additional nine new boats have been put into the water transport business in the first quarter of the year, adding that this was as a result of the agency’s Public Private Partnership (PPP).
He disclosed that NIWA had provided platforms for the boat owners to construct Jetties in Victoria Island, Apapa and Ikorodu, pointing out that the boats are modern craft that cannot easily sink because of the way they were constructed.
In his words, “there is massive increase in the number of passengers plying the water in the past weeks, we have been able to generate almost 70 per cent of what we generated in the whole of last year in the first quarter of this year”.
Sambo said more people have now discovered the efficiency of water transport, and that most people have also known that because of the efficiency and safety of lives and property, abandoned their vehicles and patronizes water transport system, maintaining that the new private sector involvement in the business is part of the achievements by NIWA this year.
“It will help facilitate easy movement of passengers plying the waterways in Nigeria”, he said.
The NIWA Lagos Area manager further stated that, “at the beginning of this year, we were able to identify some groups who have brought in nine brand new boats into Lagos, they acquired a terminal in Ikorodu and we provided a platform for them to do a jetty. We also provided a space for them in Victoria Island to do another Jetty in order to move people into Ikorodu and CMS on one hand and then Victoria Island to Ikorodu on the other hand and also to ferry passengers across to Apapa”.