Governor Ambode Woos Investors At Water Transport Roundtable

Governor Ambode Woos Investors At Water Transport Roundtable

…Says Sector Remains Critical To Solving Traffic Congestion

…As Lagos Seals Partnership With Multi-National Consortium To Clean-Up Waterways

 

Lagos State Governor, Mr. Akinwunmi Ambode, on Friday expressed the commitment of his administration to provide critical infrastructure and enabling environment for investors to participate in the ongoing efforts to rev up water transportation, saying the sector remains critical to solving the traffic congestion affecting the State.

Speaking at a Roundtable on Water Transportation organised by the State Government, and held at Eko Hotels and Suites, Victoria Island, the Governor said though the sector had been left unattended to over the years, but that the State Government was nonetheless now committed more than before to fully harness the potentials of the water transportation to the benefit of the people and economic prosperity of the State.

Lagos State Governor, Mr. Akinwunmi Ambode (middle); Commissioner for Transportation, Mr. Ladi Lawanson (right) and Managing Director, Coca-Cola Nigeria Limited, Mr. Bhupendra Suri (left) during the Water Transportation Roundtable at Eko Hotels ad Suites, Victoria Island, Lagos, on Friday, July 27, 2018.
Lagos State Governor, Mr. Akinwunmi Ambode (middle); Commissioner for Transportation, Mr. Ladi Lawanson (right) and Managing Director, Coca-Cola Nigeria Limited, Mr. Bhupendra Suri (left) during the Water Transportation Roundtable at Eko Hotels ad Suites, Victoria Island, Lagos, on Friday, July 27, 2018.

He said the chaotic traffic situation in some parts of the State in recent times and the pressure on the road with attendant danger to lives and property, made the need to forge ahead with the reforms in the water sector being championed by his administration even more compelling.

According to him, “The question to ask is what has brought us to this despicable situation so to speak where the only mode of transportation for over 22million people is road and the road itself is chaotic. In the last three years, we have been fighting traffic and unfortunately in the last two weeks, we have seen what has happened in Apapa and what we have been trying to do. Just about three weeks ago, we saw what happened with regards to the Otedola Bridge disaster and then the carnage, as well as the inability of government to provide for the needs of the people.

“So, among the over 22 million people, almost 8 million are walking on the streets every second and at the same time, 86 people enter into Lagos every one hour according to United Nations statistics for 2016 which is the largest in the world. So, if other states are failing, more people are going to be coming to Lagos and that means maybe right now, there are 120 people entering Lagos not wanting to go back and the only mode of transportation we have for them is just the road and that is why we are coming up with other modes.

“1/5th of Lagos is water. We have the smallest geographical space in Nigeria of 3577 square kilometers with 25 per cent of that being water. So, you are asking yourself that why in the history of Lagos and in the history of Nigeria, that we did we not just think of other modes of transportation and what really went wrong?”

While reeling the benefits of water transportation especially to traffic management, the Governor said it was instructive to note that being surrounded by water, many parts of the State could be connected within few minutes.

“I was in Apapa yesterday and I look at the gridlock and it made sense to me that it is just five minutes ride between Apapa and Marina and so the question is can’t we create barges that take our cars officially and then push them there in just five minutes and so in no time everybody is in their offices instead of going through the traffic?

 Lagos State Governor, Mr. Akinwunmi Ambode; Commissioner for Transportation, Mr. Ladi Lawanson; Acting High Commissioner of South Africa to Nigeria, Mr. Bobby Moroe and Counsellor, Economic, South African High Commission in Nigeria, Mr. Calvin Phume during the Water Transportation Roundtable at Eko Hotels ad Suites, Victoria Island, Lagos, on Friday, July 27, 2018.
Lagos State Governor, Mr. Akinwunmi Ambode; Commissioner for Transportation, Mr. Ladi Lawanson; Acting High Commissioner of South Africa to Nigeria, Mr. Bobby Moroe and Counsellor, Economic, South African High Commission in Nigeria, Mr. Calvin Phume during the Water Transportation Roundtable at Eko Hotels ad Suites, Victoria Island, Lagos, on Friday, July 27, 2018.

“Between Badore and Ikorodu is just ten minutes. So, we lay off people on Ikorodu axis. This is something that has been waiting for a long time and I just think this is the right time for us to do it because those coming behind us will not forgive us if we don’t take advantage of all the things we need to do to develop water transportation,” the Governor said, adding that major channelization projects, shoreline protection and jetties, among others were currently being constructed as part of efforts to boost the sector.

He said in addition to efforts ongoing, the roundtable was basically to come up with sustainable framework to boost water transportation and encourage people to adopt it as alternative to other modes of transportation.

While wooing investors to take advantage of the reforms in the water sector, the Governor said it was instructive that in the last 36 months, more Foreign Direct Investment (FDI) came into the State largely due to transparency and credibility to encourage investors, assuring that his administration would continually create the enabling environment for businesses to thrive.

Earlier, Commissioner for Transportation, Mr Ladi Lawanson said the essence of the roundtable was to evolve effective framework in partnership with the private sector and relevant stakeholders to play up water transportation in Lagos with the view to diverting a lot of pressure currently on the roads to water.

Also speaking, a major player in the sector, Mr Ganiyu Balogun, who is the Managing Director of Tarzan Ferry Services, commended Governor Ambode for his commitment to rev up water transportation and harness it’s potentials for the benefit of the people.

He said stakeholders were aware of the challenges in the sector and were willing to partner with the State Government to address the issues in the overall benefit of the State.

There were also presentations at the event by University of Lagos, United States Mission in Nigeria, Trade and Investment Department of British High Commission and Paramount Maritime Holdings of South Africa, all expressing readiness to partner with the State Government to boost water transportation.

Meanwhile, the State Government at the roundtable also sealed a major partnership with a consortium of multi-national companies, Food and Beverage Recycling Alliance, to rid the waterways and water bodies in the State of filth with specific focus on plastic waste.

The agreement will also bring about the setting up of a world class collection and recycling framework for plastic waste in Lagos State.

The consortium including Nigeria Bottling Company, Coca-Cola, 7-Up Bottling Company, Nestle and Nigerian Breweries, among others, will be investing in boats with capacity to collect waste from the waterways, thereby protecting the ecosystem and boosting water transportation.

Apapa Gridlock: Lagos Suspends Approval For Development Of Tank Farms

Apapa Gridlock: Lagos Suspends Approval For Development Of Tank Farms

…Issues 30-Day Ultimatum To Tank Farms Without Adequate Loading Bay

…DPR To Ensure Compliance By Owners Of Tank Farms

…As Joint Security Task Force Extend Work By One Month To Restore Sanity

The Lagos State Government on Monday announced the suspension of approval for development of tank farms in Apapa as part of its renewed effort to restore sanity completely as well as fashion out immediate and long term solution along the Oshodi-Apapa corridor and prevent a repeat of the chaos caused by containerized trucks and tankers parked on the road.

Rising from a closed door meeting with stakeholders in the maritime and transport sectors, including Nigeria Ports Authority (NPA), Shippers Council, Tank Farm Owners, Department of Petroleum Resources, Security Agencies and Clearing and Forwarding Agents, held at the Lagos House in Alausa, Ikeja and chaired by State Governor, Mr. Akinwunmi Ambode, the State Government also resolved to accelerate and complete work on the Bola Ahmed Tinubu Trailer Park in Orile within the next one month.

The State’s Commissioner for Transportation, Mr. Ladi Lawanson who briefed Government House Correspondents on the resolutions reached after the meeting which lasted for over three hours and said all stakeholders had resolved to work together to bring back sanity on the Apapa axis and would therefore not hesitate to sanction recalcitrant operators who flout the resolutions going forward.

Lawanson, who was joined at the briefing by the Managing Director of NPA, Mrs. Hadiza Bala-Usman, Secretary to the State Government, Mr. Tunji Bello and other stakeholders, said that a Security Task Force has been constituted by the Federal Government and the Lagos State Government and would work continuously for 30 days to bring sanity to the roads, while shipping companies sanctioned for non compliance on utilisation of holding bays in the ports have been extended by five days.

He said that to also cushion the effect on the traffic experienced by motorists in the area, the Federal Ministry of Power, Works and Housing would immediately commence palliative measures on bad portions on access roads.

State Chairman, Road Transport Employers Association of Nigeria (RTEAN), Alhaji Mohammed Musa; Secretary to the State Government, Mr. Tunji Bello; Commissioner for Transportation, Mr. Ladi Lawanson; Managing Director, Nigeria Port Authority (NPA), Hadiya Hadiza Bala Usman; Permanent Secretary, Ministry of Transportation, Dr. Taiwo Salaam; Chairman, Amalgamation of Container Truck Owners Association, Mr. Olaleye Thompson and Lagos Sector Commander, Federal Road Safety Corp (FRSC), Mr Hyginus Omeje, addressing Government House Correspondents shortly after the Governor’s meeting with NPA, Tank Farm Owners, Shippers Council and other Stakeholders on the Apapa Traffic Situation at the Lagos House, Alausa, Ikeja, on Monday, July 23, 2018.
State Chairman, Road Transport Employers Association of Nigeria (RTEAN), Alhaji Mohammed Musa; Secretary to the State Government, Mr. Tunji Bello; Commissioner for Transportation, Mr. Ladi Lawanson; Managing Director, Nigeria Port Authority (NPA), Hadiya Hadiza Bala Usman; Permanent Secretary, Ministry of Transportation, Dr. Taiwo Salaam; Chairman, Amalgamation of Container Truck Owners Association, Mr. Olaleye Thompson and Lagos Sector Commander, Federal Road Safety Corp (FRSC), Mr Hyginus Omeje, addressing Government House Correspondents shortly after the Governor’s meeting with NPA, Tank Farm Owners, Shippers Council and other Stakeholders on the Apapa Traffic Situation at the Lagos House, Alausa, Ikeja, on Monday, July 23, 2018.

“The Department of Petroleum Resource (DPR) is to ensure that Tank Farm owners comply with holding bay requirements, while trailers not called upon and found trampling will be impounded and sanctioned in Lagos.

“With immediate effect, Lagos State Government suspends the approval of Tank Farms and the Government is going to accelerate the completion of the Bola Ahmed Tinubu Trailer Park and it should be ready within a month,” Lawanson said.

The State Government also directed that all truck and tanker owners must be duly registered and well regulated by their unions, adding that the unions would be held accountable for their adherence to extant rules and regulations.

“The Nigeria Ports Authority (NPA) in collaboration with the Lagos State Government will going forward license trailer parks whereby only trucks housed in those designated parks will be granted access. Furthermore, tank farms without adequate loading bays within the next 30 days will be sanctioned.

“These resolutions were arrived at and agreed by all parties and all parties have resolved to jointly implement these resolutions and the effects will be seen by Nigerians very shortly,” the Commissioner said.

Prior to the meeting, it would be recalled that  the State Government had last week set up a Joint Task Force involving security agencies and stakeholders in the maritime sector to remove all containerized trucks and tankers parked along the Apapa axis.

Tagged ‘Operation Restore Sanity On Lagos Roads,’ the Task Force involving 2,271 personnel drawn from the Police, Lagos State Traffic Management Authority (LASTMA), Lagos State Emergency Management Agency (LASEMA), Nigerian Security and Civil Defence Corps (NSCDC), Federal Road Safety Corps (FRSC), and Nigerian Military including Army, Air Force and the Navy moved into the area on Friday in an operation that lasted for over 72 hours to open up the service lane in the axis to ease traffic.

 

Lagos Bus Reform; New Buses Arrive In Batches 

Lagos Bus Reform; New Buses Arrive In Batches 

It was an iconic sight to behold as new buses adorned some of the recently constructed Bus Terminals in Lagos for the take-off of the Bus Reform Initiative of the State Government designed to bequeath a world class transportation system and enhance connectivity across the State.

Apart from adding to the aesthetics of the State with the impressive blue and white colour, the new environmentally-friendly high capacity buses, which are now arriving the State in batches, were also equipped with modern facilities to bring about comfort and seamless travelling experience along the dedicated routes.

Under the Bus Reform Initiative, 5,000 new buses are expected to be added to the public transport system, while other components of the scheme such as modern bus terminals, bus depots, bus stops and segregated laybys are already springing up in strategic locations across the State. This is aside the Intelligent Transport System mechanism of the initiative which will aid Lagosians to plan their journeys.

Also, arrangement is also being firmed up as part of the short-term plan for the buses to be assembled in Lagos, which would in turn create jobs for the people, and as well serve to properly maintain the buses.

Giving rationale behind the initiative, the State Governor, Mr Akinwunmi Ambode said the new buses and terminals were conceived to redefine public transportation in the State with the view to make the State globally competitive.

“Like we have said, we are doing bus terminals to actually improve on the management of transportation in the city. Some people would have noticed that we are beginning to receive some of our new buses. We have actually ordered 820 buses and we believe that by end of September, the 820 buses should be in Lagos.

“The intention is not to drive away Danfo buses (Commercial Buses). Buses in Lagos right now are never enough. Government is intending to inject 5,000 but we do not intend to operate them and so whoever is going to operate the buses would recruit drivers and personnel to work on those buses.

“So, if somebody upgrades from Danfo to bus, that is more job for our people. We, as government, are not the ones to drive the buses but what we are doing is to create avenue for people to get employed and to also create greater aesthetics for the city,” Governor Ambode explained.

Some of the newly acquired buses at the Ikeja Bus Terminal as part of the Bus Reform Initiative of the Lagos State Government
Some of the newly acquired buses at the Ikeja Bus Terminal as part of the Bus Reform Initiative of the Lagos State Government

According to him, if Lagos must attract investors and tourists, there has to be globally compliant mode of transportation which he said necessitated the need for reforms in the sector.

“Another point is that if we say we want to be globally competitive and we want to attract investors and tourists to Lagos, we have to be globally compliant with the way we move people around.

“So, we believe strongly that as we proceed, we will be introducing more facilities on our waterways, roads and our walkways to make life more comfortable for our people,” the Governor said.

Lagos Extends Agric-Ishawo Road Project To Arepo

Lagos Extends Agric-Ishawo Road Project To Arepo

…To Commence Okokomaiko-Seme Border Road, Link Epe-Mojoda Project To Ijebu Ode-Ore Expressway

…Inspects Major Projects In Ikorodu Division

Lagos State Governor, Mr. Akinwunmi Ambode on Wednesday approved the extension of ongoing Agric-Ishawo dual carriageway road project to Arepo in Ogun State, saying the development became imperative in view of the determination to rev up the economic integration of South Western States.

Speaking while embarking on an extensive inspection of major ongoing projects in the Ikorodu division of the State which lasted till late in the evening, Governor Ambode said the projects would be delivered as part of efforts to make the sub-urban areas in the State economically viable and livable, thereby making life comfortable for residents and boosting the Gross Domestic Product (GDP) of the State.

Addressing scores of residents of Owutu and Ishawo who had trooped out to receive him, the Governor urged them to exercise patience and understanding with the projects, assuring that more dividends of democracy would be spread to the axis.

He said: “From Owutu Junction to the boundary of Lagos State in Ishawo is 7.5km and we will finish this project between March and April next year. Even before we finish this project the businesses here have started improving and the value of landed properties have gone up.

“Now, the Chairman of this Local Government has just spoken to us and we have also agreed that in order for us to improve on the economic integration of South Western States, we will extend from Lagos State boundary to Arepo in Ogun State and we will do 5.5km to join the Lagos-Ibadan Expressway.”

The Governor, who embarked on the tour with top government functionaries, said as government was doing road projects to open up the axis, other areas of the State would also benefit, thereby improving commerce and reducing travel time.

“The same thing as we are doing it in Ikorodu, the Lagos-Epe road also will be joined to the Lagos State boundary in Mojoda with the Ijebu Ode axis to link the Ijebu Ode-Ore Road.

“We are going to do the same thing and make sure that the road we are doing in the Mile 2-Okokomaiko Expressway, we commence the next phase that goes from Okokomaiko to Seme Border. So in that wise, we would have connected Badagry, Ikorodu and Epe with all the neighbouring States and we will improve the economy of Lagos and make sure that all our people that are living in the sub-urban areas are able to live comfortably well in those places and the economy in those areas also improve.

“I just want to appeal to our people to exercise patience as we do this. We are doing it for you. We know that you want more than roads, we are bringing shopping mall to Ikorodu; we are bringing cinema; we are bringing arts theatre and we are also bringing recreational park,” Governor Ambode said.

While inspecting progress of work on the 32 Metric Tonnes Rice Mill and Light Industrial Park in Imota which would accommodate those to be relocated from Sabo Industrial Park, the Governor expressed satisfaction with level of work, saying the Rice Mill was another fulfillment of promise to produce rice locally on a large scale.

“We think that we are on the right course. People would recall that we used to have a 2.5 Metric Tonnes per hour rice mill in this particular site. We have removed that to pave way for the new 32 Metric Tonnes per hour rice mill and as we can all see since the last time we were here that there has been a lot of progress being made by the contractor and also the consultant.

“We can see that this is a huge task for us to fulfill our promise that we would be producing our own Lake Rice by ourselves and I think I am impressed by the level of work I have seen and we should be able to start production in this rice mill in the first quarter of 2019.

“In addition to that, this Imota Light Industrial Park is to replace the Sabo Light Industrial Park that we are closing down. We have decided to move the Light Industrial Park into Imota here to give the economic hub that we want to give Imota the right picture and also turn part of the closed Sabo Industrial Park into our Tech hub for us to be able to integrate the new acquisition of land that we have in Sabo and turn that axis into the new Tech hub for our younger ones so that we can use that area as our own new Silicone Valley,” he said.

He said the Rice Mill and other projects going on in the axis such as the new Mile 12 Market in Imota and Igbogbo-Bola Ahmed Tinubu-Igbe Road which would be extended to Gberigbe and environs, would further contribute to positively change the economic landscape of the axis.

“We are on the right course and that also is ongoing. We think with the provision of this industrial park and this rice mill and then the Commodity Market that is coming to Imota in addition to the major road projects that are ongoing in Ikorodu like the one we just visited which is the Igbogbo-Bola Ahmed Tinubu-Igbe Road that will also link Owu Elepe all the way down to the junction of this Imota Road and also extend in another few months once we get our Asphalt Plant back on track to Gberigbe, the economic landscape of this axis will be changed positively.

“What we are trying to send as a message here is that every nook and cranny of Lagos should become economically viable and also economically livable because people should be able to stay where they are and actually earn their own living and income in a very comfortable way and that is the whole essence of this and overall we will be able to grow our GDP and allow more people to enjoy dividends of democracy and also pay their taxes, perform their civic obligations and in a complete circle, that same money gotten from the taxes would be used to continue to renew infrastructure and allow more people to live a comfortable life.

“That is what Lagos wants to do; that is what we are committed to and that is the direction we are going,” the Governor said.

Earlier, Chairman of Ikorodu West Local Council Development Area (LCDA), Princess Jumoke Jumbo commended Governor Ambode for his commitment to the development of the Ikorodu division, saying such was obvious with various projects simultaneously ongoing in the axis.

“On behalf of the people of Ikorodu West LCDA, we just want to appreciate our Governor for your good gesture and the love you have for us in Ikorodu as a whole. Our people really appreciate you most especially for this road because it is already boosting the economy of our area and just yesterday, the wife of the Governor, Mrs Bolanle Ambode came to give our children school sandals and socks.

“We thank God for you coming from Lagos every time to Ikorodu to do one projects and the other. All my people are interested in you coming back. Governor Ambode is already endorsed for second term and we pray you will come back to do more for us,” Jumbo said.

President Buhari Commissions Ikeja Bus Terminal 

President Buhari Commissions Ikeja Bus Terminal 

…Lauds Ambode’s Rail Reform Initiatives, Developmental strides

…We’re Committed To Efficient, Integrated Transport System, Says Lagos Gov

President Muhammadu Buhari on Thursday began his two-day official visit to Lagos State with the unveiling of ultra-modern Ikeja Bus Terminal designed to redefine public transportation in line with the Bus Reform Initiative of the State Government.

The President, accompanied to the facility by the State Governor, Mr Akinwunmi Ambode and other government functionaries, lauded the State Government for various initiatives aimed at catering for movement of the growing population of the State and making modern buses available to the people.

He particularly commended Governor Ambode for his developmental strides in the last three years, saying the projects were indeed laudable.

“I commend the Governor for development and strides he recorded within the first three years of governance. I recognize the push of the State Government in reforming public transportation especially the Bus Reform Project which will make modern transport buses that are air-conditioned available to the people.

????????????????????????????????????

“I acknowledge the vision of Lagos State Government to revamping the railway transportation system. Presently, we have outlined in new-year message of the plan for a-Pan African Railway Transportation. I commend Lagos State for also developing rail infrastructure to cater for movement of its growing population,” President Buhari said.

While assuring that the Federal Government’s plan for transport infrastructure especially the ports would be strictly adhered to, the President said his administration remained committed to order the development of the country, and as well further stabilize the economy, create an enabling environment for job creation, tackle security and draw Nigeria to acceptability.

Earlier, Governor Ambode said the Ikeja Bus Terminal signposts the commitment of his administration to reform public transportation infrastructure and management in the State, adding that the vision remained the provision of a functional, efficient and integrated transport system to support the populace and facilitate commerce.

He said: “In the last three years, we have committed to revamping and providing a new integrated transport system to support our growing population. We have initiated and completed the provision of infrastructure that are scalable and would support the daily needs of our people to meet their connectivity and mobility needs.

he newly commissioned Ikeja Bus Terminal, built by the Lagos State Government, on Thursday, March 29, 2018.
The newly commissioned Ikeja Bus Terminal, built by the Lagos State Government, on Thursday, March 29, 2018.

“The Ikeja Bus Terminal is one of our flagship transport infrastructure under the State Bus Reform Initiative. The first phase of this programme will see 13 new Bus terminals introduced including major terminals at Oshodi, Yaba, Ojota, Agege and the already completed Tafawa Balewa Bus Terminal.

“We have commenced the introduction of 5,000 new buses into the Lagos economy in the next 3 years. We will inject 820 environmentally-friendly high capacity buses in the first phase of this reform by September 2018, 300 New Bus Stops, 3 Bus Depots, and Intelligent Transport System which will aid Lagosians to plan their journeys on our public transport system.”

Governor Ambode specifically thanked President Buhari for approving import-duty waiver received on the buses in the Phase One of the scheme, saying that arrangement was now in place for the buses to be assembled in Lagos within the next 20 months, which would in turn create jobs for the people.

He said aside bus and road transportation reform, the State Government was also promoting Non-Motorised Transport such as walking and cycling paths to give the people modal choices while promoting healthy living, just as he said that the rail transport infrastructure was being put in place.

“Work is ongoing on the 27-kilometre Blue Line Rail project from Okokomaiko West of Lagos to Marina in Central Lagos. We are in discussions with various investors and stakeholders on our urban rail project, the Red Line from Alagbada to Marina.

“Mr. President, the success of a highly populated, cosmopolitan smart city-State like Lagos is strongly dependent on the efficiency of its transportation system. We are committed to a functional, efficient and integrated transport system which will support our population and facilitate our commerce and we will continually work till we achieve this objective, Governor Ambode said.

President Muhammadu Buhari (2nd left); Lagos State Governor, Mr. Akinwunmi Ambode (2nd right); member, House of Representative, Ikeja Federal Constituency, Hon. James Faleke (right) and Minister of Information and Culture, Alhaji Lai Mohammed (left) during the commissioning of the newly built Ikeja Bus Terminal by the Lagos State Government, on Thursday, March 29, 2018.
President Muhammadu Buhari (2nd left); Lagos State Governor, Mr. Akinwunmi Ambode (2nd right); member, House of Representative, Ikeja Federal Constituency, Hon. James Faleke (right) and Minister of Information and Culture, Alhaji Lai Mohammed (left) during the commissioning of the newly built Ikeja Bus Terminal by the Lagos State Government, on Thursday, March 29, 2018.

The Ikeja Bus Terminal, which is estimated to convey about 200,000 passengers daily across 23 destinations, has been fitted with all aspects of public transport operations such as buses, passengers’ insurance, 13 ticketing boots, route licensing, terminal bus attendants and operating companies.

Apart from eliminating all the previous chaos and difficulties associated with boarding bus to different locations, the facility which is sitting on 10,000 square metres land space, is equipped with Intelligent Transport System (ITS), food court, shops, rest rooms, ATM Gallery, free Wi-Fi, electronically controlled shades, fully air-conditioned terminal, among others.

The ITS enables would-be passengers to know the arrival and departure time of buses from the comfort of their homes, offices or anywhere and properly plan their journey.

Statistics show that over 12million Lagosians and 80million Nigerians use public transportation daily without standard facilities and the Ikeja terminal is one of the 13 designed to change the narrative in Lagos by exposing the people to befitting and comfortable environment to commute across the State.