Lagos — The Lagos State Waterways Authority (LASWA) on Friday said that an average of 1.8 million passengers now travel by water monthly around the state, up from the 1.5 million recorded as at June.
The Managing Director of LASWA, Mr Adeyinka Marinho, told reporters in Lagos that the increase in patronage was because more people were getting aware of the boat operators and found them as a way to avoid the heavy traffic on Lagos roads.
"LASWA has been working hard with a lot of its operators; we have increased awareness on the waterways and we have more operators and vessels," he said.
According to him, 117 vessels are being operated by 47 operators on the waterways, and more are being expected.
"We have now reached a stage where we have been able to move about 1.8 million people per month, and if you look at our figures, they are still rising," Marinho said.
The managing director said that many people were opting for the waterways to get to their destinations in good time.
"The movement from Lagos Island to Ikorodu takes about 25 minutes; it takes the same time to get to Ojo. So, more people are getting aware that they can get to their destinations safely and quicker by water.
"The fresh air they get makes them feel much more comfortable; there are no exhaust fumes on the water and we have been able to increase our security patrols with the use of our own water guards.
"These guards superintend each of those jetties, making sure people comply with our safety requirements.
"By so doing, we have been able to drastically reduce waterway incidents," he said.