As part of efforts to improve inland waterways transportation, the Lagos State Waterways Authority (LASWA) is partnering with the French Development Agency (AFD) to engender improved water transportation system in the state.
The General Manager, LASWA, Mr Oluwadamilola Emmanuel, disclosed this in Lagos when the AFD team visited the LASWA headquarters at Falomo, Lagos.
According to the report by News Agency of Nigeria (NAN), the AFD team’s visit was to kick-start preparatory study of the AFD Wide-Lag Project.
The LASWA boss posited that the partnership would encourage the upgrade and use of bigger vessels on the state’s waterways, stating that the loan to be provided by AFD to execute the project would help to decongest the road and offer alternatives, thereby improving the quality of life of Lagos residents.
According to him, the project’s feasibility study would analyse about seven routes to ascertain the required number of ferries and terminals for the whole process.
“In building any public transportation system, it is important for us as Lagos to build on international best practices to follow the benchmark from other countries on how they have successfully built their water transport infrastructure.”
“AFD has been supporting road transport in Lagos for the last 10 years. They helped in developing the Bus Rapid Transit (BRT) infrastructure, which is why the government extended their programme to cover the waterways. The Lagos State Government is committed to building an integrated transport system including road, rail and water transportation,” Emmanuel said.
Meanwhile, Mr Ismail Lawal, from the Federal Ministry of Finance, said that the Federal Government was optimistic about fast-tracking the project to enable Lagos and its residents benefit from it.
Lawal, who is the Head of infrastructure, International Economy Relations Department in the ministry, said: “The Federal Ministry of Finance’s support is to see to it that what was agreed upon at the concept stage is not derailed. We want to see it worked upon to become a successful project for the state and federal governments. There is a special commitment to the project from the Federal Government and that standing alone assures our partner that their money is safe.”
The Project Team Leader, AFD, Mr David Margonsetisrn noted that engagements are still at the preparatory stage, but confirmed that the Federal Government had mobilised significant grant to help LASWA to prepare the project, adding that the feasibility studies would be carried out by four groups of conceptuals.
“The project will cover the construction of new ferry terminals, jetties, channelisation of new inland waterways transportation routes, new vessels and clean energy. It will also include acquisition of powered vessels as well as soft component features to enable LASWA reach critical miles to implement the project.”
“Studies have been conducted throughout the lagoon, which demonstrates that new routes can be easily introduced through the lagoon. The infrastructure components will be about new safety and regulation, as well as control centre that will monitor the operation along the routes on daily basis. Any passenger falling off from the boat should be rescued immediately by the rescue team,” the project leader said.
He added that the AFD had approved 1.2 million euros grant for the preparation of the project, which is to be completed in 2027.