There are indications that the perennial traffic congestions on the ever busy Lagos roads have increased water transportation patronage in Lagos state.
Speaking with journalists yesterday in Lagos, Managing Director, Lagos State Waterways Authority (LASWA), Adeyinka Marinho, said an average of 1.8 million passengers currently travel by water monthly around the state. He linked the increase in patronage to resolve by some people to avoid the heavy traffic on Lagos roads, saying more people are getting aware of the boat operators. Marinho, who affirmed that the patronage used to be 1.5 million as at June, added that "LASWA has been working hard with a lot of its operators. We have increased awareness on the waterways and have more operators and vessels."
He said about 117 vessels are currently operated by 47 operators on the waterways, adding that more operators have indicated interest to invest in the sector. His words: "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." Harping on the efficiency of water transportation, he said it reduces long man hours usually lost to road traffic, as people now get to their destinations quickly and safely. He explained that the movement from Lagos Island to Ikorodu takes about 25 minutes, just as it takes the same time to get to Ojo axis of the state. "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," he added. He said there are security guards in each of the jetties to ensure that people comply with safety requirements.