…Says Water Transport Sector Reforms On Course
Lagos State Governor, Mr Akinwunmi Ambode on Thursday commissioned an ultra modern Ferry Terminal and the Headquarters of the Lagos State Waterways Authority (LASWA) in Falomo area of the State, restating that no efforts would be spared to harness the potentials of water transport sector for the overall benefit of residents.
The Governor, who also commissioned a Multi-level Car Park within the same premises, said the unveiling of the edifice which was delivered through a Public-Private Partnership (PPP) arrangement with MTN Nigeria, signposts the readiness, willingness and ability of the State Government to take full control of its waterways and would continue to do so effectively.
Governor Ambode, who was represented by the State’s Attorney General and Commissioner for Justice, Mr. Adeniji Kazeem, said completion of the project, which started seven years ago, was an eloquent demonstration of the appreciation and recognition of the efforts of the State Government toward the overall development of water transport sector in the State.
While alluding to the fact that water transportation had been proven worldwide to be an effective and efficient transport system, the Governor said despite its potentials, the sector had remained largely underdeveloped just accounting for less than one per cent of the overall traffic in the State, a development he said necessitated the massive investments and reforms of his administration in the sector.
“In furtherance of our commitment to develop the water transportation system which is an integral component of the Lagos State Multi-Modal Transport System, we have invested significantly in the provision of water transportation infrastructure especially the rehabilitation of existing and construction of new Jetties; purchase of two clearing machines with navigational equipment to tackle the challenges posed by water hyacinth and the ongoing installation of safety signs for routes demarcation, among others.
“In addition, we have concluded plans for the procurement of seven high-capacity passenger ferries to complement the existing ones, while we also plan to assist commercial ferry operators to acquire new standard boats.
“All of these are with the intent of encouraging more private sector investment in water transportation. The long term objective is to reduce the pressure on our roads as our people increasingly embrace water transportation system,” Governor Ambode said.
While reiterating the commitment of his administration to continue to protect the interest of those using the waterways especially in the area of providing the entire residents of the State with quality and affordable water transport services, the Governor also reinforced the determination of the State to ensure that waterways in the State were safe and secured.
Besides, Governor Ambode commended MTN Nigeria for partnering and contributing to the realization of the State Government’s objectives in the water transport sector, just as he urged other private sector stakeholders to take advantage of the emerging investment opportunities in Lagos water transport sector.
In his opening remarks, General Manager of LASWA, Mr Oluwadamilola Emmanuel commended Governor Ambode for his unparalleled commitment and support towards the upgrading, construction and equipping of waterways infrastructure in the State, saying that the new imposing edifice, among other ongoing projects on the waterways, aptly demonstrated such investments and reforms in the sector.
“This terminal is expected to attract new investors, boost water transportation and reduce vehicular traffic on Lagos roads and also complement the efforts of the Lagos State Government towards promoting Inter-Modal Transport System in the State thereby increasing the efficiency of government interventions in the sector.
“On our part, LASWA remains committed to delivering an enabling environment to all waterways users. We are deepening and broadening or capacities to surpass all expectations in this regard,” Emmanuel said, just as he solicited the cooperation of all stakeholders especially by strictly complying with all existing rules and regulations on water transportation.
Also speaking, Chief Executive Officer of MTN Nigeria, Mr Ferdi Moolman said his firm was delighted to partner with the State Government to deliver another milestone that would lead to a better transport system and improved quality of lives for millions of the State’s residents.
“Lagos is home to a visionary and dynamic government that believes in the power of Public-Private Sector Partnership and today’s event is a proof of that. I like to specially commend Lagos State Governor, Mr. Akinwunmi Ambode and his team for the transformation and innovative projects ongoing across the State,” Moolman said.
Facilities at the ferry terminal include a ticketing point, passenger lounge, VIP Lounge, elevator, standard conveniences, among others.
…Says Investors Can Explore Opportunities In Energy, Technology, Creative Sectors
…As May Seeks Sustainability of UK/Lagos Relationship
Lagos State Governor, Mr. Akinwunmi Ambode on Wednesday received the British Prime Minister, Theresa May in Lagos, affirming that the State remains a choice destination for investors from the United Kingdom.
The British Prime Minister, who arrived the Presidential Wing of the International Airport at about 4:30pm, was received by the Governor, the Deputy Governor, Dr. Mrs. Oluranti Adebule, the Secretary to the State Government, Mr. Tunji Bello and the Special Adviser, Overseas Affairs and Investment, Professor Ademola Abass.
The Governor said he was delighted to welcome the British Prime Minister to Lagos, noting that the relationship between Britain and Nigeria dated back to the nineteenth century.
He said that much of Nigerian education, cultural and political systems was influenced by Britain and that there are more Nigerians living in the UK than elsewhere in the world outside Nigeria.
Governor Ambode emphasised that Lagos remained a place of choice for British investors especially given that stability in the government, the site of Lagos economy and population, the particular focus of his administration on the rule of law and justice sector reform.
All of these, the Governor said, have not only enhanced the ease of doing business in Lagos but also ensured a greater protection of people and investment in the State.
He also said that it would be of particular importance to Lagos State if British investors could explore the various opportunities that exist in the State in the areas of energy, technology, export finance, infrastructure and the creative industry.
The Governor expressed optimism in the strengthening of the relationship between Britain and Lagos and avowed that his administration would do whatever it takes to achieve that goal.
In her response, the British Prime Minister noted that she was happy to be in Lagos and underscored the commercial importance of Lagos in Nigeria.
She pointed out the important role that a stable government in Lagos plays in giving extra confidence of investors in the State.
The Head of the British Government also disclosed the availability of export credit finance to the tune of 750 million pound sterling as well as a considerable development finance, which Lagos State could look towards.
She spoke about the role that British could play in the development of the technology industry in Lagos given the particular capability of the UK in that area.
In that regard, the PM disclosed that she brought as part of her delegation, an expert in Fintech to explore the opportunity in this area that Lagos could benefit from.
The British Prime Minister also noted the special strength of the London City as a financial hub that could be of considerable importance for Lagos State, just as she emphasized sustainability and growth in Britain/Lagos relationship.
Finally, she expressed the desire of the British government to assist Lagos in the development of her creative industry and alluded to the fact that the jacket she was wearing when she met with the Governor was actually made in Nigeria.
Wife of the Lagos State Governor, Mrs. Bolanle Ambode on Tuesday appealed to students to abstain from cultism, drug abuse and other career-ruining ventures, stressing that no excuse could justify indulgence in social vices.
Mrs. Ambode, who made the appeal in her keynote address at the second Distinguished Lecture of the Lagos State University (LASU) in Ojo, identified social vices as the bane of proper youth development in the country, urging them to resist the temptation to engage in social vices as they will only ruin their future.
According to her, “No matter the peer pressure, emotional challenge or psychological issues you may be facing, I urge you to say no to drugs, cultism and other vices. One moment of indiscretion is enough to ruin a life. Your lives will not be ruined”.
She urged them to make best use of the knowledge gained today, for their self development tomorrow.
Mrs. Ambode, an alumna of LASU, rated students of the University very high, describing them as some of the best, capable of holding their own anywhere in the world.
Mrs. Ambode filled with nostalgia, recalled her student days when “I walked the same road as you do, eat at the same joints as you eat, attended lectures in some of those classes that you use today; I am a proud alumna of this great institution”.
She reflected that the founding fathers of the school had a vision of academic distinction for all students that would pass through it, hence the robust academic agenda and phenomenal rise of the institution, when compared to its peers around the country.
She said because of the quality of education in that institution, many products of the school had gained global recognition and doing very well in coveted professions around the world.
Encouraging the students she said, “I can see seated before me this morning future presidents, governors, captains of industry, great researchers and accomplished technocrats.
“The Lagos State Government in conjunction with our University has given you the platform to challenge yourselves to face the future, by offering you practical classes through the ‘Ready Set Work’ initiative, and series of lectures and programmes like we are having today,” she said.
She commended the university authorities for the establishment of a Career Development Centre, for continuous improvement of LASU graduates, for professional efficiency and effectiveness.
In his welcome address, Vice Chancellor of the University, Prof. Olanrewaju Fagbohun reeled out several scholastic and professional achievements recorded by the institution, through outstandingly brilliant male and female students, who have continued to make waves locally, continentally and globally.
He noted with pride, that the United Nations had just chosen a cohort of millennium fellows from the University, to support its Sustainable Development Goals.
Other such exploits according to him, included an on-going exchange programme with Indiana University, USA, among other inspiring achievements.
Prof. Fagbohun stressed that the Centre for Career Development was established to entrench the potential of students, with a vision to chart career pathways and produce employable and marketable graduates, for national and global relevance.
Guest speakers, Joke Silva, Segun Arinze and Mrs. Dan-Faparusi Ogugua Enitan, unanimously counseled the students to adopt the five Ds of Desire, Determination, Diligence, Dedication and Discipline, in their pursuit of career success, adding that they should get rid of fear and be prepared to start small.