L-R: (Front row)-MTN Nigeria Chief Operating Officer, Mr. Ferdi Moolman; representative of Lagos State Governor- Commissioner for Justice, Mr. Adeniji Kazeem; and General Manager of Lagos State Waterways Authority (LASWA), Mr. Oluwadamilola Emmanuel, during the commissioning of the Five Cowries terminal in Ikoyi, Lagos today
The Lagos state government has reaffirmed its commitment to take full control of its waterways, irrespective of the controversies between the state government and the National Inland Waters Authority (NIWA).
Governor of Lagos state, Mr. Akinwunmi Ambode stated this on Thursday at the official commissioning of the Lagos State Waterways Authority (LASWA) Five Cowries terminal as well as a multi-level car park in Falomo, Ikoyi. The car park is adjacent to the terminal. The commissioning followed the handover of the facilities to the Lagos state government by MTN Nigeria.
The Governor who was represented by the state Commissioner of Justice, Mr. Adeniji Kazeem, stated that the state government has shown unprecedented commitment to the development of water transportation.
According to him, the government has already concluded plans to acquire 7 high capacity ferries, even as it has already purchased two water hyacinth clearing machines and installed safety signs on the waterways.
According to the Governor “our government will continue to protect the interests of those using the waterways”. Revealing that the percentage of water transport commuters in the state is still at single digit, he said the state government is bent on improving on it.
Lagos state Commissioner for Transportation, Hon. Ladi Lawanson, who was represented by the ministry’s Permanent Secretary, Dr. Taiwo Salaam, explained that the ministry is focussed on realising the vision of the governor by developing a sustainable inter-modal transportation system in the state.
On his part, the General Manager of LASWA, Mr. Oluwadamilola Emmanuel, while commending MTN Nigeria for the gesture, stated that “this terminal is expected to attract new investors, boost ridership and reduce vehicular traffic on Lagos roads. And also to complement the efforts of the Lagos state government towards promoting the inter-modal transport system thereby increasing the efficiency of government intervention in the sector”.
He added that “on our part, LASWA remains committed to the lingering and enabling environment to all waterways users, we are deepening and broadening our capacity to surpass all expectations in this regard.
“We have put in place various structures and processes to enable us achieve our objectives, we therefore solicit the cooperation of all stakeholders as we ask you to strictly comply with all existing rules and regulations of water transportation”.
In a message delivered on behalf of MTN, the Chief Operating Officer, Mr. Mazen Mroue, called on other corporate bodies to emulate MTN by supporting the state government, while he expressed hope that the new terminal will facilitate improved transport system in the state.
Also speaking, the Managing Director of the Lagos State Development Property Corporation (LSDPC), Mr. Sanwo-Olu Babajide, recalled that “in the spirit of Public Private Partnership then, MTN and LSDPC came together to put together the development”. Development of the projected commenced seven years ago.