Lagos To Restructure Water Transportation | Independent Newspapers Limited
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Lagos To Restructure Water Transportation

Lagos Water transportation Commuters being transported by canoe
Posted: May 3, 2016 at 4:00 am   /   by   /   comments (0)

Chukwudi Nweje


In order to make water transportation safer and more viable, the Lagos State Waterways Authority (LASWA) has perfected arrangements to issue new guidelines for safety and growth of water transportation in the state.

Miss Abisola Akamson, Managing Director of LASWA said on Monday, that arrangements had been concluded to achieve the set goals.

The LASWA Managing Director who spoke at a news conference in Ikoyi, Lagos noted that the state government was committed to aggressive reform of water transport through Public Private Partnership (PPP).

“We are coming up with the new guidelines to further enhance safety on the waterways.

“The fresh guidelines have to do with the quality of boats, size of boats, types of engine of boats that can operate on our waterways.

“It also looks at speed, general safety features and insurance required by operators to ensure safety on waterways,” she said.

Independent recalled that LASWA had earlier in the year warned operators of rickety boats in the state to dispose of them, or face sanctions.

Kamson had then during a one-day training organised by the Authority for water guards on safety and rescue techniques  that rickety boats and vessels must go, for the government to be able to effectively tackle boat accidents in the state. She had added that the state government would do everything possible to sanitise the water transport sector in the state.

However, the LASWA managing director said the Authority will give a period for compliance before it will commence the enforcement of the guidelines and noted that the collaboration between the authority and the National Inland Waterways Authority (NIWA) was helpful in coming up with fresh guidelines for the development and safety on waterways.

According to her, the authority was confident that there would be a significant change in the state’s water transportation to ease traffic on roads.

“The core function of LASWA is to act as a regulatory agency for all movements on waterways. We are to provide enabling infrastructure that will promote water transport.

“We do oversight of all operations on waterways and provision of jetties and we collaborate with marine police on monitoring to ensure security on waterways,” she added.

Akamson said that the authority was making efforts to curb illegal access on waterways to enhance security, adding that access should only be restricted to state’s designated jetties and terminus.

She also said that locals have been engaged to help with the clearance of water hyacinths and debris on waterways to ease movement.

The managing Director also disclosed that the authorities are also working on mapping out routes for all commercial boat operators.

She noted that routes for boats will be properly channelled to stop interference with other users of waterways.

According to her, LASWA would employ more water guards to enhance patrol on waterways, even as boat captains would be subjected to a re-orientation and certification programmes to ensure that only qualified operators were engaged in water transports.