As part of efforts to ensure passengers safety on Lagos waterways, the Elegushi of Ikate kingdom, Oba Saheed Elegushi and members of the Rotary Club of Lagos at separate events made donations of life jackets to the Lagos Ferry Services (LAGFERRY).
In his remarks during the presentation of the life jackets at the Five Cowries Terminal Ikoyi, the Lagos monarch, represented by the Aro Oba of Ikate Kingdom, Chief Olalekan Bakare stated that the gesture is intended by the king to complement government’s efforts at ensuring the safety of boat passengers and ease pressure on road transportation.
“it is obvious of what the adminstration of Mr. Governor and the Managing Director of LAGFERRY are doing with the THEMES Agenda in making sure that they ease transportation in Lagos State. it is about time we start exploring our waterways and decongest the road”.
while informing that water transportation is still the best, fastest and safest means of alternate transport, he commended the state government for ensuring compliance to waterways safety regulations of compulsory wearing of life jackets and operating at regulatory hours.
“I grew up in a waterfront area, right from a young age I always go to Tarkwa Bay.
To be honest there have been a tremendous improvement on water transportation, back then regulatory of safety on water was not existing as at that time, now as a boat owner myself we can see the effort of the government in ensuring that both waterways and passengers are safe.”
The representative of the Rotary Club of Nigeria, Rotarian Tosin Olabintan, during the donation of 40 life jackets stated that on daily basis many commuters go through a lot of stress on the road commuting from their home to their places of work, adding it was not healthy to perceive the smoke coming out of vehicles and the stress of being in the traffic for many hours could endangers people’s health.
“Government has given alternative to citizens of Lagos State to travel on Waterways which is more healthier than plying the road. Water transportation is faster and less stress because in a couple of minutes you have reach your destination because if you travel on waterways, there is nothing like traffic jam”.
Olabintan urged ferry operators to ensure all their passengers put on the life jackets before using the ferry adding that the gesture would be extended to other ferries stations.
In his response, the Managing Director LAGFERRY, Hon Ladi Balogun said the support of more companies would further encourage water transportation to enable them decongest the traffic on the road.
He said that the commitment and passion been displayed by the Rotary club and the traditional ruler would enable the Lagferry management to be proactive in its duties.
He said: “We sincerely appreciate the life jackets donated by the Oba Elegushi and the Rotary Club of Nigeria. This gesture have shown that people are really watching our operation”.
Balogun said that LAGFERRY had never been involved in any water accident since two years of operation adding that the support via the donations would reinforced the fact that they considered safety in their daily operations.
While encouraging other monarchs and corporate bodies to key into the laudable initiatives he informed that before the commencement of LAGFERRY operations, the contribution of water transportation in Lagos stood at 0.8 per cent and now with the operation of LAGFERRY, it has increased to 3.8 per cent.”