Lagos Targets 2Million Passengers On Water Daily

Lagos Targets 2Million Passengers On Water Daily

…We‘ll Explore Tourism, Economic Potential Of Waterways


Lagos State Governor, Mr. Akinwunmi Ambode on Sunday commissioned three newly acquired executive boats by the State Government, with a pledge to fully explore the tourism and economic potentials of the waterways in the State for the overall benefit of the people.

Speaking at the unveiling of the boats held at Caverton Jetty in Civic Centre area of Victoria Island, the Governor said the State Government was committed to the implementation of the integrated transport management system designed to scale up water, rail and land transportation, saying that the grand plan is to divert at least two million passengers on the waterways daily thereby reducing traffic on the road.

He said the boats and four Jet Skis recently acquired by the State Government to ensure safety and fight crime on the waterways were prelude to major plans to fully activate the potentials of water transportation, while in coming months, the State Government would take delivery of additional seven commercial ferries, among other plans for the sector.

Lagos State Governor, Mr. Akinwunmi Ambode (middle), exiting from one of the new Executive Boats acquired by the State Government shortly after the commissioning at the Caverton Jetty, Victoria Island, Lagos, on Sunday, November 5, 2017.
Lagos State Governor, Mr. Akinwunmi Ambode (middle), exiting from one of the new Executive Boats acquired by the State Government shortly after the commissioning at the Caverton Jetty, Victoria Island, Lagos, on Sunday, November 5, 2017.

According to him, “This is a significant day for Lagos State as we commission three boats belonging to the Lagos State Government. We discovered that sometimes, we do not have the ability for our officials to go on the waterways to address issues relating to people and citizens that live alongside the waterways.

“As you aware, twenty-five per cent of Lagos is water and it is important that we put in the right initiatives that can actually make activities on our waterways to thrive and the also people living along the waterways to bring them into proper perspective.

“Sometimes when dignitaries come from other States or countries, they are not able to see the true side of Lagos from waterways perspective and that is one of the reasons the State Government decided that we would procure the boats that would help us to promote tourism in the State so that people can see the great potentials of Lagos State,” he said.

Newly commissioned Executive Boats by the Lagos State Government at the Caverton Jetty, Victoria Island, Lagos, on Sunday, November 5, 2017.
Newly commissioned Executive Boats by the Lagos State Government at the Caverton Jetty, Victoria Island, Lagos, on Sunday, November 5, 2017.

Governor Ambode said as much was ongoing on road rehabilitation and construction, as well as the rail system, the water sector was also experiencing specific initiatives such as construction of terminals, channelization, construction of walkways, among others to encourage more people to key into the sector.

He said: “As people are well aware, we are committed to the integrated transport management system that we have promised Lagosians. As much as we are doing on the roads, we have decided that we would face the waterways. We have just ordered the procurement of seven ferries; we have also invited people from the private sector to take over terminals and also be able to procure their own boats and ferries.

“We are so particular about safety; we are so particular about the future of everyone and that is why we decided also that we would do a lot on channelization and dredging on waterways to make it motorable. People will begin to see all these at the end of the first quarter of 2018 and we believe strongly also that both the government boats and the ones from the private sector will start to berth the waterways of Lagos and we will use that to complement what it is that we have on our roads and also use it to complement the future of what we are trying to plan for the rail system.”

He added that over six million people walk every day on Lagos roads and that accounted for why walkways were being constructed across the State, while there are plans to create connectivity between water terminals and the roads, especially in Badore, Ajah, Mile 2, Badagry, Ikorodu and other places where there are terminals.

While stating that the maintenance and sustenance of the boats had been outsourced to specialists to ensure proper usage, Governor Ambode also invited more private sector stakeholders interested to invest in the waterways to partner with the State Government, saying his administration is liberal, transparent and willing to collaborate with interested investors.

In his opening remarks, Commissioner for Waterfront Infrastructure Development, Engr. Adebowale Akinsanya said about thirty commercial routes on the State waterways have been identified for dredging and channelization, while ten jetties spread across the State were being constructed, among other ongoing plans for the sector.

He also said that the Ministry was working in concert with the Ministry of Justice to enforce relevant laws guiding the waterways to ensure compliance with safety standards and checkmate any illegal activity by operators.

Lagos State Governor, Mr. Akinwunmi Ambode (3rd left); Special Adviser on Sports, Mr. Deji Tinubu (2nd left); Special Adviser on Finance & Audit Control, Mr. Adeniji Popoola (left); Commissioner for Water Infrastructure Development, Engr. Ade Akinsanya (3rd right); his counterpart for Information & Strategy, Mr. Steve Ayorinde (2nd right) and Attorney General & Commissioner for Justice, Mr. Adeniji Kazeem (right) during the commissioning of new Executive Boats acquired by the Lagos State Government at the Caverton Jetty, Victoria Island, Lagos, on Sunday, November 5, 2017.
Lagos State Governor, Mr. Akinwunmi Ambode (3rd left); Special Adviser on Sports, Mr. Deji Tinubu (2nd left); Special Adviser on Finance & Audit Control, Mr. Adeniji Popoola (left); Commissioner for Water Infrastructure Development, Engr. Ade Akinsanya (3rd right); his counterpart for Information & Strategy, Mr. Steve Ayorinde (2nd right) and Attorney General & Commissioner for Justice, Mr. Adeniji Kazeem (right) during the commissioning of new Executive Boats acquired by the Lagos State Government at the Caverton Jetty, Victoria Island, Lagos, on Sunday, November 5, 2017.

Also speaking on safety plans for the waterways, General Manager of Lagos State Emergency Management Agency (LASEMA), Mr. Tiamiyu Adeshina said the Jet Skis would be deployed across the State to aid rescue operation in case of emergency, and also help to fight crime.

“Each of the Jet Skis has the capacity to carry two divers and the idea behind this is that when an incident occurred on the water, there is a Jet Ski that will move divers fast to the incident scene while the rescue boats are coming behind and when they get there, divers are dropping into the waters and as soon as they rescue people, we put them into the rescue boat and take them to hospital,” Adeshina said, just as he revealed  that training to that effect was already ongoing.

Also, the Managing Director of Lagos State Waterways Authority (LASWA), Mr. Damilola Emmanuel, said the commissioning was the beginning of sustainable development for the waterways, adding that apart from efforts by the agency to enforce safety standards, the State Government has concluded plans to license 10 new operators who would provide better ferries.

The Governor also inspected ongoing projects on the waterways especially at Orange Island and Lekki Foreshore areas of the State.

Oshodi Interchange: Adhere To Safety Measures, Lagos Counsels Motorists, Residents

Oshodi Interchange: Adhere To Safety Measures, Lagos Counsels Motorists, Residents

…Says Project ‘ll Redefine Public Transportation, Engender Economic Growth

The Lagos State Government on Sunday urged motorists and other road users to strictly adhere to safety rules and measures already put in place to prevent any disaster as a result of the ongoing construction of Oshodi Transport Interchange.

The project, which is being executed on behalf of the State Government by Messrs Planet Projects, an indigenous firm, seeks to create a world class central business district with focus on transportation, security, environment and urban renewal. The interchange has 3-multi-storey bus terminals with waiting area, loading bays, ticketing stands, drivers lounge, parking areas, conveniences, surveillance tower and CCTV gadgets.

Other features include accessible walkways, pedestrian bridges/sky-walks to link the three terminals, shopping malls with street lighting and a dedicated security team on ground.

Upon completion, the project would bring about organised transport system, boost intra-tourism for Oshodi, bequeath iconic city gateway to the State, ensure secured and comfortable environment, as well as economic growth and job creation.

In a statement by the Permanent Secretary in the State’s Ministry of Works and Infrastructure, Mr. Olujimi Hotonu, the government said with the high level of construction work ongoing at the project site, it became expedient to advise drivers, commuters, road users and residents of the area to be vigilant and cautious of safety measures.

He particularly cautioned pedestrians to keep moving anytime they are in the axis, saying that the safety of residents is of paramount importance to the firm and the Lagos State Government.

Speaking on the safety measures, Hotonu said: “With the high level of construction at the Oshodi Transport Interchange, drivers, commuters and road users are advised to adhere strictly to safety rules and measures of certain risk around the zone.

“In view of the fact that the Lagos State Government places high premium on safety of lives and property of the people, we like to specifically urge road users along the corridor to avoid fallen object, deep holes, muddy road, dust, noise and heavy moving equipment crossing, among others.

“Furthermore, we like to counsel pedestrians to keep moving and stay safe when they are anywhere around the construction site in Oshodi. As a government, we are working hard to deliver the project on schedule and every effort needed to achieve it is being exerted,” he said.

Already, Hotonu said with the work on the project already at advanced stage, Oshodi was now experiencing free flow of traffic as a result of Traffic System Management (TSM) measures put in place, adding that upon completion, the project would redefine public transportation and foster economic growth and job creation.

Also speaking, Managing Director of Planet Projects, Mr Biodun Otunola said over 1,000 piles (22m) and pile caps have been installed, while the 3-multi-storey bus terminal buildings were at advanced stage of construction.

He said the cars and taxis parks were ongoing with massive walkway under construction, while lighting of the entire Oshodi area was ongoing, all of which were being done by over 500 workers on site.

Speaking further, Otunola said Oshodi lacked adequate pedestrian facilities, walkways, bus shelters and bus stations and the hub generally unorganized with the environment in a degraded state bringing about attendant poor transport facilities, overcrowding, huge traffic congestion and threat to security, a development he said necessitated the decision of Governor Akinwunmi Ambode not only to redesign the traffic flow but also transform the aesthetics of the area with iconic infrastructure.

Oshodi, arguably, is the busiest transport hub in Nigeria with over 5,600 buses loading per day and spread over 13 different motor parks, as well as over 200,000 passengers boarding per day and about 1million pedestrians moving daily in the area, with about 76 per cent of the entire area dedicated to transport and related activities.

 LASG Vows Continuous Implementation Of Policies To Boost Informal Sector

 LASG Vows Continuous Implementation Of Policies To Boost Informal Sector

Lagos State Governor, Mr. Akinwunmi Ambode on Thursday presented certificates to 1,500 artisans and traders in the State who were retrained on modular employability programme as part of efforts to scale up the informal sector with the view to making members meet up with current realities.

The beneficiaries drawn from various associations under the auspices of the Lagos State Council of Tradesmen and Artisans (LASCOTA, were solely trained by the State Government for enhanced productivity in a total of twenty-four trades including entrepreneurship, computer appreciation, writing business proposals, among others.

Speaking at the graduation ceremony and 8th Tradesmen and Artisans Day held at De Blue Roof, LTV 8 Compound in Ikeja, Governor Ambode said the role of artisans and traders in the pyramid of socio-economic development of the nation was very critical in achieving sustainable growth and overall prosperity of the people.

He said it was in recognition of such fact that his administration had shown commitment towards ensuring that the event was not only sustained eight years after, but also designed to be more rewarding.

Governor Ambode, who recalled various initiatives designed to scale up the informal sector such as the N25billion Employment Trust Fund (ETF), among others, assured traders and artisans in the State that government would continue to implement strategies and programmes to promote their businesses and create conducive environment for their operation.

He said: “Giving the strategic role of the informal sector in our economic development in this State, our administration has opened an online portal designed to facilitate interaction among artisans, customers/end-users and relevant stakeholders.

“It is our primary role to make it easy and convenient for people in need of high quality service to meet reliable, trusted and verifiable service providers. It is also aimed at enhancing the productivity, competitiveness, creativity and vitality of this sector.”

While expressing excitement with the fact that it was the tailors from the State that produced the academic gowns used for the graduation, the Governor said moving forward, the State Government would now start to officially engage traders and artisans on jobs that would improve their economy.

Speaking on specific requests made by LACOSTA, the Governor said: “As a start, we instruct the Ministry of Wealth Creation and Employment to see the capabilities and the opportunities that we can spread out from State jobs and contracts and give to our artisans.

“I am very happy to note that we have graduates among you and also graduates who are also your children. So, we hereby create an immediate opportunity through your associations to be able to recruit into key areas in the public service where we can need your services. These are not political promises, we keep our promises and we will fulfil all our promises,” Governor Ambode said.

While congratulating the artisans and traders for successfully undergoing the training, the Governor urged them to put all they have learnt to effective practice, and leverage on the endless opportunities of the strategic position of Lagos as one of the fastest growing economies in the world to be solution providers, just as he assured that the State Government would continue to provide and maintain the required infrastructure and conducive environment for businesses to thrive.

Besides, Governor Ambode launched a compendium of artisans in the State to boost the informal sector, and also inaugurated operational bus donated to LACOSTA by the State Government.

Earlier, in his opening remarks, Commissioner for Wealth Creation and Employment, Mr Babatunde Durosinmi-Etti said since the last edition of the event, Governor Ambode, as requested by LACOSTA, had already approved N12million annual subvention to the association and increased the number of beneficiaries in 2017 to 1500 from the 500 that were trained in 2016.

Also, LACOSTA President, Alhaji Nurudeen Buhari commended Governor Ambode for keeping his promise of scaling up the informal sector and prioritizing the interest of artisans and traders in the State. He said as promised by the Governor, many of their members have benefited from the ETF loan, among other fulfilled promises.

Goodwill Message Delivered At The 8th Edition Of Tradesmen And Artisan’s Day Celebration

Goodwill Message Delivered At The 8th Edition Of Tradesmen And Artisan’s Day Celebration

The role of the Artisans/Tradesmen in the pyramid of socio-economic development of a nation is very critical to achieving sustainable growth and the overall prosperity of the population. It is in recognition of this fact that this administration has shown commitment towards ensuring that this event is not only sustained but also more rewarding.

This yearly celebration affords you an opportunity to share your ideas, challenges and also suggest solutions that will help in growing your trade and also make it more profitable. At this same event last year, some issues were raised and we made a commitment to address them. I believe all the issues raised have either been adequately addressed or are in the process of being concluded.

One thing I can assure you is that the growth and profitability of your trade is our top priority and we will continue to implement policies and incentives that will improve your productive capacity.

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The theme: “Technology and innovation: A catalyst for the development of the Artisans and Tradesmen” was chosen to sensitize you to the reality of global trends. In this modern time, successful businesses are driven by technology and innovative ideas. It will be difficult for you to survive and stay ahead of your competitors if you continue to do things the old way and fail to key into the current reality. There is no aspect of your trade or vocation that you cannot apply technology to improve on quality, efficiency and productivity.

Given the strategic role of the informal sector in the socio economic development of Lagos State, our administration has opened an online portal designed to facilitate interaction amongst Artisans, MSMEs, Customers/End-Users and other relevant stakeholders. Its primary goal is to make it easy and convenient for people in need of high quality service to meet reliable, trusted and verified service providers. It is also aimed at enhancing the productivity, competitiveness, creativity and vitality of the sector.

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We have implemented various strategies to support the establishment and growth of small businesses through the State Employment Trust Fund and other capacity development programmes. I will encourage you to synchronize your activities and key into these programmes to empower your members and other youths in the State.

For the retrained Artisans who are present here today, let me remind you that the strategic position of this State offers you endless opportunity to leverage on. Our State is one of the fastest growing economies in the world and it presents great opportunities that are waiting to be tapped and challenges which you are the solution provider. Your training has been designed to address the skills mis-match and provide the right mix of skills needed to service the industrial needs of the State. This administration has a clear focus on all our initiatives and believes in the potentials and innovative capacity of Lagos Artisans.

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I also want to assure you that we will continue to provide and maintain the required infrastructure and conducive environment for business. Let me also seize this opportunity to remind you that the strategic position of this State offers you endless opportunities, waiting to be tapped. Grab it and make good use of it.

Thank you and God bless you all.

Itesiwaju Ipinle Eko, lo je wa logun